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WordPress Updates: How To Install an Update Safely

Remind me again tomorrow. And again. And yet again, the day after that.

When you’re busy running your own freelance business, you rarely want to take the time to update your computer’s operating system. But when it comes to a WordPress update, you’ll want to think twice about hitting snooze.

WordPress updates keep sites running smoothly and protected from security threats. This post explains the types of updates and methods for updating a WordPress website.

What is a WordPress Update?

A WordPress update ensures that the systems running a website operate with the latest WordPress version. Just like you need to update your computer and phone’s operating systems, you should keep your WordPress system updated.

WordPress updates include:

  • System Updates
    These updates apply to the core WordPress software running a website.
  • Plugin Updates
    In addition to keeping your core system updated, you need to run updates on any active plugins.
  • Theme Updates
    Theme developers also release updates to ensure the WordPress themes remain compatible with newer versions of WordPress.

Why Is It Important to Update Your WordPress Site?

Keeping a WordPress site updated improves the site’s performance and security. Website speed determines a lot about the site’s success. Sites with slow loading times tend to rank lower in search results and experience decreased conversion rates. Outdated versions of WordPress and any plugins can slow down a site. Newer versions of WordPress also include updated features designed to improve your site’s performance.

Not updating WordPress also creates a security risk. WordPress ranks as the most popular content management system in the world. Unfortunately, the widespread use of the system makes it a frequent target for hackers. As WordPress developers learn security vulnerabilities, they provide security patches in the next version of WordPress. If you’re not updating your WordPress system, you’ll miss out on vital security improvements.

The same is true of plugins. Plugins represent some of the easiest ways for someone to attack your site. Keeping your system and plugins updated eliminates some of your security vulnerabilities.

What to Do Before a WordPress Update

Before updating a WordPress website, make a complete backup of your site. Back up all core system files, media files, themes, plugins, and databases. You can use a plugin designed for making backups or check with your hosting provider. Many hosting plans, especially managed WordPress hosting, include a backup service.

Auto Update WordPress vs. Manual Update WordPress

As a part of your preparation to update WordPress, you need to decide between automated and manual updates. For most site owners, an automatic update works best. Auto-updates happen in the background, so your site is always running on the latest version of WordPress without you having to remember to run updates.

But, automatic updates can create problems for some websites. Major releases of WordPress often include new features without backward compatibility. If your site runs on a theme or plugins that could break if you updated to the most recent major release of WordPress, you should disable automatic updates.

How to Auto Update WordPress

Most web hosts enable auto-updates by default. Check with your host to see the settings for your account. If your site isn’t at risk of breaking by upgrading, you can stick with automatic updates. As an added safety measure, consider an automated backup schedule so you can restore your site to a previous version if a WordPress update did break something on your site.

How to Manually Update WordPress

If you’ve disabled automatic updates, you’ll need to run a manual update. You can pick between a one-click update or a full manual update.

Steps to complete a one-click update:

  1. Login to your WordPress admin.

  2. Navigate to the Updates section under the Dashboard.

  3. If you’re not running the latest version of WordPress, you’ll see an option to “Update Now.” Click that button.

  4. WordPress will automatically fetch the latest version and put your site in maintenance mode during the installation process. You can track the progress on your screen.

Once complete, it will redirect you to a screen with information on the new features in the upgraded version.

Steps to complete a full manual update:

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress to your computer.
  2. Unzip the file.
  3. Login to your WordPress admin and deactivate any plugins.
  4. Use FTP or shell access to delete the wp-includes and wp-admin directories from your web host. Then, upload the new wp-includes and wp-admin directories to your web host.
  5. Navigate to your wp-content folder and upload the individual files from the wp-content folder of the update. You want to overwrite existing files, but do not delete any other files or folders.
  6. Upload all loose files from the root directory of the update to your host WordPress root directory, such as wp-login.php.
  7. Go to your WordPress admin page from a browser. You’ll probably have to log in again. If needed, it will guide you through updating your database.
  8. Activate your plugins.
  9. Clear your cache.

For more detailed step-by-step instructions on manually updating WordPress, check the WordPress documentation.

What If My Update Fails?

If your WordPress update fails, you can restore your site from a backup and try again. If you attempted an automatic update or a one-click update that failed, you could try a full manual update instead. To complete a manual update after a failed update, you’ll need to delete the file maintenance from your WordPress directory between steps 6 and 7.

What to Do After a WordPress Update

After finishing a WordPress update, check your site to ensure everything looks good and functions properly. Remember, you may need to update your theme and any plugins to be compatible with your new version of WordPress.

Simplify WordPress Updates with Hostdedi

Managed WordPress hosting from Hostdedi takes the hassle out of updating a WordPress site. All plans include automatic updates for core system files and plugins. Plugin updates also include Visual Inspector to detect any impacts of a plugin update on your site’s layout.

Try managed hosting today and stop worrying about WordPress updates.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

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Website Design Client Checklist: How To Set Realistic Expectations

It’s not easy to work on a web development project when clients do not understand the deliverables. For that reason, setting client expectations for website development is essential for the success of your projects.

The website design process is quite demanding. To stay on top of things, you need to have some mechanism for managing client expectations. It’ll help you create long-lasting professional relationships and avoid unexpected additional costs.

Getting started with freelancing website design projects

Source: 99designs

Read on to discover the value of setting clear expectations and the art of creating web development client questionnaires.

Why Do You Need To Set Client Expectations

Setting Realistic Expectations in Web Design

Web Design Questions for Clients

Creating a Website Design Client Checklist

Final Thoughts: How To Set Client Expectations for Website Development

Why Do You Need To Set Client Expectations?

When working as a freelance web developer, you will interact with clients who are not well-versed in web development.

Therefore, it is crucial to help clients understand what you can deliver before working on a project.

If you can set clear client expectations during the onboarding process, it’ll help you run the project smoothly. Moreover, letting clients know what to expect early on helps you:

Define the Scope of Work

When expectations are communicated before the project starts, it becomes easier to understand the client’s business and what they are looking for. In the beginning, you should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the client’s needs, mission, and values.

That will help you define the scope of work and manage the project efficiently. You’ll find it hard to say no to the client’s demands after you’ve agreed to work on the project.

Understanding project deliverables for website development

Source: Pexels

Manage Your Workload With Ease

For a freelancer, meeting deadlines can sometimes be challenging. Something as simple as having spontaneous project revisions can make things last longer than expected.

As a result, your other clients and projects may suffer, hurting you both emotionally and financially. Setting your expectations right away will help you with project management, thus improving your freelancing business.

Create Long-Term Relationships With Clients

One aspect of setting clear expectations is to convey them unambiguously. When your clients are aware of the deliverables and your timeline, it’ll increase your credibility. Good communication is key to building trust in professional relationships.

Setting Realistic Expectations in Web Design

It can be a little overwhelming to start with the process of setting expectations. The requirements and nature of each project may vary, thus impacting your approach. It is, however, helpful to have a structure that you can follow.

To set clear expectations, practice the following:

  • Set up meetings before starting the project. These meetings will help you understand the needs of the client and clarify project goals.
  • Define project deliverables and workflow. Provide specific information so that your client can understand the scope of the project.
  • Create a detailed project plan and share it with the client. Make sure that you address your limitations, resources, timeline, and budget carefully.
  • Clarify your concerns regarding the expectations during and immediately after the project is completed.

Website development project plan

Source: Asana

Useful Tips To Manage Client’s Expectations

When working with web development clients, some of the tips to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Be transparent in sharing your concerns and expectations so the clients do not push you to overdeliver.
  • Keep the communication channels open at all times.
  • Do not set strict deadlines for yourself. Give yourself some cushion for unexpected events.
  • Ensure regular check-ins to keep up with the milestones and project status.
  • Keep a record of your agreement with the client. Documentation can save you from a lot of trouble.

An excellent way to gather the information you need to implement the practices and tips listed above is by asking the following questions:

Web Design Questions for Clients

  • What is your mission and vision for the business?
  • What are your requirements for this website?
  • What do you want to achieve at the end of this web design project?
  • What are the personas for your target audience groups?
  • How strong is your current online presence?
  • What is your timeline for the website to be fully functional?
  • Do you have any design expectations and restrictions that I should be aware of?
  • Who will I be in contact with during the web development project?

The importance of website development client questionnaire

Source: SEOReseller

Try having a website development client questionnaire to consult every time you bid for a freelancing project. All you have to do is go through a series of web design questions for clients before you kick off a project.

Creating a Website Design Client Checklist

In addition, create a web design client checklist to stay on top of things. This list will save you time and ensure you don’t miss important things while discussing a project.

Here is an example of things you can tick off to ensure you’re on the right track:

  • Define the goals and objectives of the website development project.
  • Set clear deliverables for the web development project.
  • Make sure to have a point of contact before, during, and after the project.
  • Set an expected launch date for the website with revisions in mind.
  • Establish an agreed budget and mode of payment.
  • Create a contract to be signed by the client.

The list is not exhaustive, and you can add more things to it based on the nature of the freelancing project. You may also have to create some documents, such as an onboarding form, for clients. These documents can help you keep track of multiple projects with different clients.

Final Thoughts: How To Set Client Expectations for Website Development

According to HubSpot, the employment of web developers is going to increase by 8% in the next few years. That means there will be more projects to do and strict deadlines to adhere to in the future.

And that is just one of the reasons why setting client expectations for website development projects is extremely important.

With expectations set upfront, you can use minimum effort to manage your relationships with existing and new clients. Succeed in your freelancing web development business by managing client expectations.

If you want to carry out your projects more efficiently and boost client relationships, check out Hostdedi’ StoreBuilder. By helping you expedite processes, this tool will ensure your client’s expectations are met.

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A Faster Way of Building Websites for Clients

Freelance web design and development is a bit of a balancing act. When building websites for clients, you need to deliver something unique, but not so special that it requires countless development hours.

Even the most experienced developer can use help reducing the time it takes to take a site live. The more sites you finish, the more money you make. Decreasing the time it takes to build a site, gives you more time to find your next freelance web development project.

To help you increase your output as a freelancer, this post explores faster ways of building websites for clients.

How to Create Websites for Clients Quickly

Developers often assume they need to build every website from scratch, carefully crafting each line of code. Unfortunately, most clients won’t pay for that level of customization. Successful freelancers use time-saving hacks to deliver customized sites for clients.

Time-saving website building hacks include:

  • Modifying an Existing WordPress or WooCommerce Theme. Customizing an existing theme saves considerable time compared to building a new theme. Most website projects don’t warrant the effort to create an entirely new theme when you can easily modify an existing one.
  • Using a Page-Building Tool. Drag-and-drop page builders can cut down on development time as well. Popular page builders for WordPress include WPAstra, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Gutenberg.
  • Starting From a Template. If you are using a page-building tool, many include templates. Use the template to set the basic structure and layout for a page, so you can start fine-tuning the design sooner.

How to Create Online Stores for Clients Quickly

With the right hack, you can quickly create a website. But a fully-functional online store takes more time. If you’re using WordPress, you’ll need to install and configure several plugins to get the right combination of design and functionality.

Many developers opt to go with a solution requiring less setup. SaaS ecommerce platforms and website builders like Shopify, BigCommerce, Squarespace, or Wix eliminate some of the hassles of setting up an online store.

But the convenience comes with a price. These platforms are less flexible, making customizing your client’s store to their exact specifications difficult if not impossible. Plus, each platform uses proprietary systems, meaning you cannot export the store and install it on a different host. If you build a store in Shopify, you have to keep paying Shopify or invest in rebuilding the store on another platform.

Developers prefer the open source nature of WordPress and WooCommerce. Given that WordPress powers about 40% of websites online, it boasts a robust and active community of users and developers.

Because of the open source nature of the platform, just about any functionality or feature you’d want can be found — or created. With over 50,000 WordPress plugins available, and 11,000 themes to choose from, the options can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, a new product from Hostdedi makes building online stores in WordPress easier and faster.

How StoreBuilder by Hostdedi Works

StoreBuilder by Hostdedi automates the more tedious aspects of building an ecommerce website with WordPress and WooCommerce, so you can spend more time customizing the design and adding products.

All you have to do is answer a few questions, and StoreBuilder does the rest. The guided setup wizard uses your answers about your comfort level with website building, the store, products, and content types to build an optimized WooCommerce-powered store. You can even load in demo products as a part of the setup.

Benefits of Using StoreBuilder

StoreBuilder gives you the power of WooCommerce without the complexity of setting it up.

Here’s why freelancers like building websites for clients using Storebuilder:

Preconfigured WordPress and WooCommerce Plugins

The Hostdedi team tested, validated, and deployed the best set of plugins. You can get a perfect ecommerce set up within minutes without having to research, download, and install plugins. StoreBuilder also makes page building easier with the innovative Kadence blocks plugin. Unlike other page builders, Kadence doesn’t add a bunch of bloat to a site and slow it down.

Unique and Fast Next-Gen Themes

StoreBuilder includes premium themes designed for maximum speed. Each theme works with StoreBuilder’s easy-to-use interface, so that you can customize the appearance of your store with just a few clicks.

Set and Forget Plugin Updates with Visual Checks

Plugin updates keep your client’s online store running smoothly and securely. If you host clients’ websites or sell maintenance plans, automatic updates save you considerable time.

Premium Hosting and Auto Scaling Included

Yet another benefit for freelancers hosting their clients’ sites, each StoreBuilder plan includes Hostdedi top-of-the-line ecommerce hosting. With our auto scaling feature, you also won’t have to worry about your sites crashing during a Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping spree. StoreBuilder boosts PHP resources above the base levels to scale with your site’s increased traffic.

Simplified WordPress Admin For Easy Handoff

Every freelancer dreads the “where can I find” or “how do I…” phone call from clients. StoreBuilder makes client handoff a breeze by simplifying the traditional WordPress navigation. When clients log in, they’ll only see the relevant sections in the navigation. The simplified navigation should also prevent unwanted client tampering with critical settings.

Performance-Boosting Features

StoreBuilder helps freelancers deliver more value for their clients with built-in plugin and sales performance monitoring. It monitors each store’s sales to measure them against a predicted model based on historical performance. StoreBuilder gives your clients a heads up when sales go down so they can take action to recover revenue.

StoreBuilder also monitors the technical performance of your site. While other solutions alert you of performance problems, StoreBuilder tells you why. Our advanced plugin performance monitor detects when a change in a plugin begins impacting your site performance, so you can solve it before a client notices.

To sum up, StoreBuilder makes you a hero to your clients.

Get Started Building Websites for Clients

WordPress and WooCommerce provide the most flexible and advanced features for your clients’ ecommerce stores. When you combine them with StoreBuilder, you can start building websites for clients in no time.

Plus, you’ll have full support from Hostdedi’ team of hosting and ecommerce experts. StoreBuilder comes backed with fully managed WooCommerce hosting to keep your store high performing behind the scenes.

Sign up today and get your first month for free.

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What is Magento Commerce Cloud?

Magento Commerce Cloud has become extremely popular the past couple of years. You may be wondering about this enterprise ecommerce platform. What benefits does it provide users? Which features have been added after being acquired by Adobe?

Let’s delve deeper into these and other Magento Commerce Cloud questions that might interest you. Keep reading to learn what Magento Cloud Commerce is, what the platform offers, and more.

What is Magento Commerce Cloud?

“Cloud” is a concept mostly used in terms of online services. Its purpose is to provide users with stable and safe online hosting services, whether you want to store documents, images, or some other types of files such as websites.

When it comes to online stores, we can distinguish two kinds of web hosting: on-premises and cloud.

With on-premise hosting, you can install the site on any server you’d prefer as well as maintain and control its overall infrastructure. This is a solution plenty of entrepreneurs choose because it’s safer. However, good quality often comes with a higher price, which can be an issue for those who have small and relatively new businesses.

On the other hand, with cloud hosting, you can install your site on a network of physical and virtual servers — and it will cost you less.

Magento discovered that more users, especially less technical users, needed full service solutions, which included cloud hosting too. This led to a new service they launched in 2016: Magento Commerce Cloud.

Magento Commerce Cloud is amongst the most used PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) solutions, widely recognized for its great advantages and capabilities. It’s a managed hosting platform for Magento Commerce that runs on Amazon Web Services servers.

Background on Magento’s Acquisition

In 2018, Adobe revealed their plans to acquire Magento Commerce. With Magento Commerce Cloud, Adobe added another excellent solution to their portfolio, enabling them to provide a global platform serving both B2C and B2B clients across the world.

This way, the Adobe Experience Cloud got some new features, including:

  • Pre-built extensions where you can find logistics, shipping, tax, and payment.
  • A chance to enable digital store and order orchestration for digital and physical items across various industries. This includes retail, the public sector, consumer packaged goods, and manufacturing too.
  • A rather active community with approximately 300,000 developers that work for Magento.

What’s Been Going on With Magento The Past Few Years?

The past few years, Magento has constantly been trying to improve the quality of its services as well as provide its clients with the best end-user experience possible.

One major step included replacing Magento 1 with Magento 2. Magento 2 offers users better speed, increased SEO, and a more user-friendly platform. It also supports the latest PHP, which boosts the speed of the entire website.

Magento 1 was sunsetted in 2020, which means it’s still useable by clients, but it no longer has official support from Adobe or Magento. Solutions, such as Hostdedi Safe Harbor, provide security and threat protection to teams still using Magento 1.

Adobe Commerce vs. Magento

In 2019, Adobe revealed they were starting an Adobe ecommerce platform. The Adobe Commerce Cloud is a fully-managed service and a cloud-based variation built on the Magento platform.

It brings the enterprise solution of Magento Commerce to the next level by allowing users to integrate it with Adobe Experience Manager. It’s also entirely synchronized with Adobe’s tools such as Marketing Cloud, Advertising Cloud, and Analytics Cloud.

So, what can we say about Adobe Commerce vs. Magento then? Both of them operate with an identical model.

With this service, Adobe extended its platform by including some additional features such as dashboards that help keep track of ecommerce strategies. It also integrated with the Amazon marketplace.

This is great for direct-to-consumer brands and small and mid-sized companies because Magento merchants can now sync their ecommerce channels with Amazon storefronts. Magento itself doesn’t cover logistics, but collaboration helps sellers to leverage Amazon’s resources, data, and supply chain.

Open Source Edition vs. Magento Commerce vs. Magento Commerce Cloud

Once you decide to use Magento 2 as a base for your online store, you get to pick the edition that suits you the most — Magento Open Source, Adobe Commerce Cloud, or Commerce. Each option comes with specific features adjusted to different needs.

Magento 2 Open Source Edition

This platform is available for anyone to download, install, and maintain. You can adjust the configuration to the software in order to meet the specific requirements of your business.

Adobe Commerce

This version provides users with numerous out-of-the-box elements, together with unlimited customizing, and flawless third-party integrations. It provides features for customer support, corporate account management, and customized catalogs, with many other useful tools.

With this edition, you also get an excellent feature called “content staging.” It helps you create, preview, and schedule all your content updates from the Admin panel of your website.

Adobe Commerce Cloud Edition

This is a managed hosting platform that includes all Magento Commerce on-premise elements, together with improved cloud infrastructure hosting. In other words, users are able to code, test, and deploy to maximize the performance of their online businesses.

Strengths of Magento As An Ecommerce Platform

Magento is a well-known ecommerce platform widely used across the globe. Here are some benefits you get by using it.

It’s SEO-Friendly

Magento Enterprise Edition helps you easily optimize Magento and the content you have. One of its primary purposes is to boost your Magento SEO, which is why it will generate SEO-friendly URLs as well.

Coupled with this, when you develop your site using Magento, you build a store that’s going to be compatible across different browsers and devices. There’s also enough room to both customize and manage SEO for ecommerce if you have the advanced skills to do so.

Excellent Platform with Various Features

No matter how many orders or products you have in your online store, Magento is a very powerful platform that can both store and manage hundreds and hundreds of different products — and all while running smoothly.

If you’ve been on Magento ever since you first started with your online store, there’s no need for you to worry when the traffic grows. Magento is a scalable solution perfectly adjusted to improve the performance and development of your shop as it gets bigger.

Magento also provides numerous features such as product and inventory management. This way, you have a site that’s quite simple to organize and easy to maintain. You also have a chance to set up navigation and filters in the way to help you maximize your website’s performance.

Fast Loading

The speed of your website is definitely one of the greatest advantages of Magento 2. If your online store takes too long to load, people will leave. Fortunately, Magento will keep your load times low even though you may have a heavy load on your website.

You Can Fully Customize Your Website

You can customize everything with Magento, starting from the look and general vibe of your site to the way you decide to set the product categories. You also get to choose from a variety of language, payment, and shipment options. Magento also provides numerous plugins that will help you enhance the performance and functionality of your website.

Bottom Line

To sum up, Magento is an open source ecommerce platform for enterprise-grade online stores.

Magento Commerce Cloud is one of its services launched in 2016. It’s amongst the most popular and widely used PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) solutions and it runs on Amazon Web Services servers.

Adobe acquired Magento Commerce in 2018 which means they got a global platform where they serve both B2C and B2B clients across the world. In 2019, Adobe launched Adobe Commerce Cloud, which is a fully managed and cloud-based service built on the Magento platform.

Magento has been generally improving its offer over the past couple of years, which is best seen by Magento 1 to 2 migration. When on Magento 2, you get to choose the edition that meets your needs the best — Magento Open Source, Commerce Cloud, or Commerce. Each, of course, comes with its own unique features.

Consider Hosting With Hostdedi

Hostdedi and Magento have a long history — in fact, Magento was originally developed on Hostdedi servers.

Hostdedi offers a fully managed Magento hosting service for speed, security, and scale. It’s suitable for both small and large businesses, with different sized plans to suit your needs.

Hostdedi fully managed hosting means you’re in good hands — the entire technical part of your website is covered, enabling you to focus on the core of your business. Hostdedi also offers 24/7/365 customer and technical support for all your questions or issues.

Check out the fully managed hosting plans from Hostdedi to get started today.

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How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Channels for Your Site

Statista shares that global retail ecommerce sales grew from $3.3 trillion in 2019 to $4.28 trillion in 2020. With online retail on the rise, it’s no longer what you’re selling that matters — it’s where you’re selling that counts.

From marketplaces like eBay and Amazon to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, there’s no shortage of ecommerce channels for online retailers.

You need to choose the best ecommerce sales channels and complement them with a winning multichannel ecommerce strategy to succeed.

Curious about the marketing channels that drive ecommerce sales?

Read on to learn:

Multichannel Ecommerce 101

Best Channels to Market Ecommerce

Best Social Media Channels for Your Ecommerce Business

How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Sales Channels

Final Thoughts: How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Channels To Increase Sales

Multichannel Ecommerce 101

Multichannel ecommerce is the process of selling products and services across several digital sales channels. It enables online businesses to increase brand awareness and reach new customers across multiple ecommerce channels.

Selling across multiple ecommerce distribution channels diversifies risk. You don’t rely on one channel for online sales.

It helps you create a consistent shopping experience across all ecommerce channels. Potential customers can discover your products on Instagram and check reviews on Facebook before buying from your website.

Such a channel mix maximizes your reach and helps your customers decide quickly.

## Best Channels to Market Ecommerce

best ecommerce channels

  1. Online marketplaces.
  2. Search engines.
  3. Email marketing.
  4. Content marketing.
  5. Affiliate networks.
  6. Social media.

Before we explore the factors that influence an ecommerce channel strategy, let’s look at the top marketing channels for ecommerce.

1. Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces are excellent ecommerce marketing channels for lead generation and sales. You can list products and find customers without investing in a marketing strategy.

There are different kinds of online marketplaces, including:

  • General marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
  • On-demand marketplaces like Zazzle and Redbubble.
  • Niche marketplaces like Not On The High Street.

Most online marketplaces let you share product data directly from your online store and simplify product feed management. You don’t need to worry about manual feed management.

2. Search Engines

Search engines are the most versatile ecommerce acquisition channels. They let you target different search intents with digital marketing and drive organic traffic.

You can also employ ecommerce marketers to manage the online marketing for your ecommerce company. They’ll help you get the best return on investment from paid search channels like Google Ads and leverage free channels like Google Shopping.

3. Email Marketing

Email is a timeless marketing channel. It works across all buying stages and requires little investment. Email marketing can help reduce cart abandonment, retarget existing customers, and even drive traffic to other ecommerce channels.

Build a list with sign-up promos and offer targeted discounts to customers based on past purchases.

4. Content Marketing

Product content marketing is perfect for driving inbound traffic to your product pages. It can help you target customers in different stages of their buying journeys and guide them with their decisions.

You can use content marketing to build authority, drive traffic, and boost your website’s SEO. But unlike other marketing channels, content marketing takes longer to deliver results.

5. Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networks help you increase your online reach by displaying your products to relevant audiences across various online platforms, blogs, and publications.

You only need to sign up to an affiliate network like ShareASale or ClickBank and upload your product feeds. And each time the affiliate network generates a lead or a sale, you pay them a small commission for their marketing efforts.

6. Social Media

Pew Research found that seven in every ten Americans [use social media]( daily, making it one of the best marketing channels for ecommerce businesses.

Social networks can help you leverage user-generated content to build trust organically.

Best Social Media Channels for Your Ecommerce Business

When it comes to social commerce, it’s vital to know the platforms you should use.

Here are the best social media channels for ecommerce companies:

  • Facebook.
  • Instagram.
  • Pinterest.
  • Reddit.
  • Twitter.
  • Snapchat.
  • LinkedIn.

Not all businesses are alike. Thus, it helps to plan your social media marketing strategy to suit your industry and audience.

For example, a B2B business can use a Facebook ad to target users in specific Facebook groups or geographical locations. In contrast, a B2C company may benefit from Instagram Reels to generate interest in their products using targeted hashtags.

How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Sales Channels

factors to consider when selecting the best ecommerce channels

With so many ecommerce channels within your reach, how do you decide the right channel for your online business?

Here are six crucial factors you should consider when choosing different sales channels for ecommerce.

Consider Your Business Model

Your business model determines the success of the online marketing channels you choose.

A B2B business selling industrial machinery might see better results on a social media platform like LinkedIn. Conversely, a B2C company selling scented candles is more likely to attract followers organically on Instagram and Snapchat.

Conduct Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis can help you identify what works for your industry and audience. It can save you a considerable amount of trial and error at the start.

You can take inspiration on pricing strategies, communication channels, and marketing platforms.

Define Your Target Audience

Detailed buyer personas help you identify who your target audience is and what appeals to them.

Ask yourself what motivates your ideal customer and what their pain points are. It can help you target sales channels that deliver the best return on your marketing investments.

Check Your Product/Market Fit

Analyzing your product/market fit can help you identify the ecommerce channels suitable for your brand.

For example, niche-specific businesses like auto accessories manufacturers will benefit from using social media platforms and communities for auto-enthusiasts. Similarly, brands selling daily-use products are likely to see better results on online marketplaces like Amazon.

Outline Your Long-Term Business Goals

It’s essential to consider your long-term business goals when choosing the best ecommerce sales channel.

If you want to transition from a niche B2B brand to a D2C brand, you might need a different approach than a business that’s scaling from B2C to D2C.

Review Your Cash Flow and Marketing Budget

If you own a bootstrapped business, it helps to focus on free and low-budget sales channels to use your marketing budget efficiently. Similarly, established businesses might benefit by using ecommerce channels that complement their cash flow.

For instance, upfront marketing fees or sales commissions might hurt a B2B business with net-30 payment terms.

So, make sure to prioritize positive cash flow and sustainable growth over short-term ecommerce sales.

Final Thoughts: How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Channels To Increase Sales

We hope our guide helps you select ecommerce channels that complement your business and help it grow. It’s important to remember that as your business grows, your online store also needs to scale with it.

Managed WooCommerce hosting by Hostdedi gives you access to hassle-free ecommerce infrastructure that can process as many as 10,000 orders per hour.

All plans come with free WooCommerce store migrations, and plan upgrades only need a few simple clicks. Want to learn more? Talk to our experts now.

Or, check out our fully managed WooCommerce hosting plans to get started today.

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What GoDaddy’s Data Breach Means to WordPress Store Owners

We’ve all heard of GoDaddy. We’ve seen their Superbowl commercials. You probably know a WordPress ecommerce store owner that uses their managed hosting services.

What you may not have heard is there was an enormous GoDaddy security breach recently. GoDaddy recently exposed the data of 1.2 million managed WordPress hosting customers, including a high number of ecommerce websites.

If you know a GoDaddy customer, you might want to send them this blog. We’ll be covering the following questions:

  • How did the security breach happen?

  • What makes the GoDaddy security breach different?

  • What can a hacker do if they access the data GoDaddy breached?

  • What is the fallout of a security attack like this?

  • Essential WordPress managed hosting security features

  • What can we learn from this security breach?

Here’s What Happened

According to GoDaddy, the security breach occurred in early September 2021 and was detected in late November 2021. It is the latest in a series of data breaches among large hosting providers, some of whom power big name brands.

But for the most part, these data breaches affect small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) in ecommerce. 50% of all cyberattacks target SMBs.

In the case of GoDaddy, it only took one compromised password to access 1.2 million managed WordPress accounts. One.

The GoDaddy data breach reminds us of the vulnerabilities SMBs face in today’s digital landscape. Managed WordPress customers often depend on their hosting providers to take care of security.

GoDaddy wasn’t doing that.

What Makes the GoDaddy Data Breach Different?

The GoDaddy hack exclusively targeted managed WordPress hosting customers. Managed hosting services allow ecommerce store owners to set up domains, hosting, security, and website tools in one easy location. It’s the most efficient way to manage and grow an ecommerce business.

But if your managed hosting provider isn’t following security best practices, hackers can gain access to all of the features managed hosting provides.

Think of it this way: if it were a brick and mortar store, a hacker would be able to unlock the front door, watch your customers, steal billing documents, and snoop through personal information — all while remaining undetected.

In the case of GoDaddy, they didn’t even know the hacker was there until two months later.

What Can a Hacker Do with the Data GoDaddy Breached?

Let’s say you were one of GoDaddy’s WordPress managed hosting customers. Here’s what the hacker could do:

  • Access your WordPress Admin password and open your dashboard.

  • Send you emails, text messages, and call you.

  • Access any file transfers you’ve made, including invoices, billing data, backups, and directories.

  • Obtain and use your SSL certificate, which can open you up to fraud.

  • Access your customer data, including emails, personal information, and addresses.

GoDaddy has since “re-keyed” all of the websites affected, providing new SSL codes and passwords. But once that information is out there, there is no telling where it will go.

What is the Fallout of an Attack Like This?

WordPress store owners know that their customer-facing website is just the top layer of how ecommerce operates. What a customer sees is powered by hard work.

For hosting providers, this is called the front end — being your storefront — and the backend — being the code, plugins, and content that allow customers to purchase.

When a data breach occurs, hackers enter through the backend. When they have access to backend data, they can cause site downtime, spread malicious links, create phishing attacks, and create code vulnerabilities.

A security breach can ignite high-volume customer communication, negative reviews, and a decline in sales. If you have investors or partner with other companies, the breach will also impact those relationships.

Recovering your reputation could take months or years, especially in the eyes of Google. If your site was spreading malicious links, it might be a while before you see clicks in the search engines again.

The good news is that attacks like the GoDaddy data breach are 100% preventable. If your managed hosting provider is doing it right, you won’t have to worry about your data being stolen.

Essential Managed Hosting Security Features

The best managed hosting providers offer 100% transparency on their security features and updates. Security should be visible, accessible, and updated automatically.

Here are the essential features ecommerce store owners need to stay safe in today’s digital world:

Hostdedi vs. GoDaddy

Hostdedi GoDaddy
Premium SSL certificates Yes Yes
1-Click SSL Encryption Yes No
Transfer Existing SSL Yes Limited
Firewall enhancements Yes Limited
PCI compliant Yes Meets requirements
Proactive patches Yes No
Automated plugin updates Yes Limited
WordPress core security patches Yes Yes
Malware scans Yes Yes
Daily backups Yes Yes
Security plugin recommendations based on your site’s needs Yes No
24/7 phone support Yes No
24/7 live chat support Yes No
24/7 email support Yes Submit ticket

Want to learn more? Here’s how to make your website more secure.

What We Learned from the GoDaddy Breach

GoDaddy’s security breach, in addition to other recent hosting data breaches, reminds us that online stores need robust protection. And that protection has to move faster than ecommerce does.

Most articles will tell WordPress store owners to stay vigilant. But this event wasn’t their fault.

Their hosting providers need to maintain and exceed security best practices.

You wouldn’t accept a faulty lock on your brick and mortar store, nor should you accept substandard security on your ecommerce website. Choose your WordPress hosting provider wisely!

Hostdedi provides the best-in-class security for managed hosting customers. Our always-on security pledge means that your store is protected at all times. Hostdedi security experts strengthen our infrastructure every day, adding new firewalls and authentications. And because you own your data, we can never access it without your permission.

Questions about your Hostdedi security? Contact us 24/7/365.

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How to Import WordPress Users with WP All Import

WP All Import is a powerful tool that lets you import WordPress users in a fraction of the time it takes to manually create them. Thanks to WP All Import’s drag and drop interface, you can bulk import WordPress users from any CSV, XML, or JSON file with virtually any data layout by following these basic steps:

  1. Upload a user import file.
  2. Optionally add a filter if you only want to import certain users.
  3. Map the fields from your import file to WordPress user fields using the drag and drop functionality.
  4. Run the import to create and/or update the users.

This guide covers everything you need to get started, and you can follow along with a free demo here at WP All Import.

Create a New WordPress Users Import

WP All Import offers several different methods for uploading your import data. You can manually upload a file from your computer, download it from an external URL or FTP location, or use a file that’s already been uploaded to your server.

For this example, we’ll use this Google Docs spreadsheet as our source file. However, the structure (column names, types, etc.) of the source file doesn’t matter. WP All Import can handle any file structure that you throw at it.

Here are the key steps:

  1. Go to All Import > New Import and select Download a file.
  2. Select From URL.
  3. Enter the link for the Google Docs spreadsheet shown above.
  4. Click the Download button.
  5. Click New Items.
  6. Select Users in the Create new selection box.
  7. Click the blue Continue to Step 2 button at the bottom.

Review the Import File

The Review Import File page lets you verify that WP All Import has parsed the import file correctly:

In this case, it has, so simply click the blue Continue to Step 3 button.

Drag & Drop Import Data Into WordPress User Fields

In this step, we’ll map the data from our file directly into the WordPress user fields in the import template. Thanks to the drag and drop system, you don’t have to worry about the headache of manually editing your file so that every column has the correct name and order. Instead, just drag the columns from the right into the appropriate fields on the left.

Here’s a look at the mapping process for just the User Account Info section:

Some of the other sections require more sophisticated values but, for now, let’s assume that they are all simple mappings as shown above. We’ll return to describe some of the more sophisticated values in a later section.

Click the blue Continue to Step 4 button.

WordPress User Import Settings

The Import Settings page allows you to control exactly what WP All Import does with the data mapped in the Drag & Drop interface. Here are the relevant settings in the top two sections of this page:

1. Unique Identifier. This identifier must be unique for each user, including all the users that already exist in your WordPress database. In the example image above, we’ve identified the “id” field as the unique identifier for each incoming user. But this may differ depending on the situation. For example, if you already had 100 users in your WordPress database, numbered from 1 to 100, you obviously could not import other users with ids in that same number range. You would have to start the import user ids at 101 or take some other approach. For now, just assume a simple import with no conflicts.

2. Create new users from records newly present in your file. If checked, WP All Import will create a new user for every incoming user whose unique identifier is not already present in the WordPress user table.

3. Delete users that are no longer present in your file. If checked and a user exists in the WordPress database that is not present in the import data, the existing user will be deleted from the database. Again, the unique identifier is used to determine if there is a match.

4. Update existing users with changed data in your file. If checked, any existing user will be updated with data from an incoming user if there is a match based on the unique identifier.

5. Skip users if their data in your file has not changed — a sub-option of point 4. If the data for the existing user and the incoming user is identical, any updates to the existing user will be skipped.

6. Update all data — another sub-option of point 4. If there is a match between the unique identifier of an existing user and an incoming user, the data for the existing user will be updated with data from the incoming user regardless of whether it has changed.

7. Choose which data to update — the third and final sup-option of point 4. If you select this option, WP All Import will present you with a long list of options for controlling which fields for the existing user will be updated with data from the incoming user.

8. Block email notifications during import. Normally, if you update a WordPress user, WordPress will email the user by default. This setting allows you to avoid these updates when importing user data.

Ignore the Scheduling Options and Configure Advanced Settings sections of this page for now. We’ll return to these subjects later.

Click the blue Continue button at the bottom of the screen.

Run the User Import

The next screen is the Confirm & Run page. On this page, click the green Confirm & Run Import button.

When the import is complete, you should see a confirmation screen that looks similar to this:

This screen indicates that 300 users were imported. To confirm this, go to Users in the main WordPress navigation menu. The result user listing should now contain the 300 imported users.

That’s it — you’ve just completed the basic process of how to import WordPress Users with WP All Import.

Advanced Features

In the preceding sections, we skipped over a few of the advanced features of WP All Import for importing users. In this section, we briefly describe some of those features.

Filtering User Import Data

Back in the Review Import File screen (Step 2), there was a section at the bottom of the screen called Add Filtering Options. You can use this section to filter the records you import by pretty much any criteria. For example, say that your import data contains users from across the US but you want to import only those from Texas. Here’s what you do:

  1. In the Review Import File screen, expand the Add Filtering Options section at the bottom.
  2. In the Element box, select “state[1].”
  3. In the Rule box, select “equals.”
  4. In the Value box, select “TX.”
  5. Click the Add Rule button.

When you click Add Rule, WP All Import will open up a new panel showing the rule definition. In this new panel:

  1. Click Apply Filters to XPath. This will add the filter rule to the XPath box. It will also reduce the count of the rows to be imported from 300 down to 27 in our sample data.
  2. Click the blue Continue to Step 3 button and continue on as before.

User Passwords

In the User Account Info section of the Drag & Drop page, there is a password field. You can import either plain text passwords or hashed passwords from another WordPress site into this field. If the latter, you must check the box indicating that the password is hashed.

Hashing is a one-way action that irreversibly scrambles a string of text. It is not possible to reverse the hashing process to identify the original password. However, WP All Import allows you to import hashed passwords back into WordPress so that users will be able to log in with their old passwords.

This is the most secure way of transmitting user import data because the passwords are never visible to anyone who might intercept the file.

Other User Info

Although we did not cover this, there is another section in the Drag & Drop interface called Other User Info. As the name implies, this is for all the other user info stored by WordPress, which you can view by looking at any user profile. This includes:

  • User role information
  • Nickname, Display Name, and Nicename (a URL-friendly name)
  • Description
  • Registration date for the user
  • A URL for the user’s website, if any

Custom Fields

If any user information has been added as a custom field, it will be accessible through the Drag & Drop page. This is one of the great benefits of using WP All Import, as it can identify and populate custom fields or fields from any plugin or add-on.

Function Editor

If you need to manipulate the incoming user in any way during the import process, you can create PHP functions to assist in this manipulation.

Scheduling Options

If you need to run a user import process on a schedule, you can do so through the Scheduling Options section of the Import Settings page. This is particularly useful if you need to keep WordPress user data synchronized with an external system.

In this model, the external system can output a new user import file on, say, a weekly basis. As long as the external system drops this file in an agreed-upon location, WP All Import can automatically import it by following a compatible schedule.

Advanced Settings

Importing an especially large user file? No problem. WP All Import provides a Configure Advanced Settings section on the Import Settings page. These settings allow you to break imports up into more manageable processing chunks, and also to increase import processing speed by disabling certain functions, importing only specified records, or using a StreamReaders instead of an XMLReader to parse the import data.

Finishing Up

As you can see, WP All Import makes it very easy to import WordPress Users. Give it a try with the steps outlined in this article.

With Hostdedi WordPress Hosting, Better Is Built In

Hostdedi offers fully managed hosting for WordPress designed for fast, high-performing sites. Hostdedi also:

  • Offers high performance and site speed.
  • Dynamically scales and optimizes.
  • Secures your site with always-on monitoring.

Check out the fully managed WordPress hosting plans from Hostdedi today.

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Freelancer’s Guide on How to Host Websites for Clients

To host or not to host? That’s the question many freelancers face when going out on their own as web developers. In this post on how to host websites for clients, we’ll explain why you should host clients’ websites and provide a step-by-step guide on how to set up web hosting for a client.

Should You Host Your Clients’ Websites?

Most freelancers understand the struggle of explaining to a non-tech-savvy client why they need web hosting and which plan to buy. After one of those conversations, you’re probably asking if it would just be easier to start hosting clients’ websites instead of referring them to your preferred hosting provider.

Benefits of hosting clients websites include:

  • Simplicity. You can quickly set up their hosting without going back and forth trying to make sure they purchased the right plan.
  • Recurring Revenue. Consider bundling hosting with a maintenance plan, so you can build recurring revenue after the initial build out. Also, some hosting providers offer affiliate programs, which allow you to earn a passive income.
  • Customer Service. Non-technical customers will appreciate a turnkey solution for their website.

Drawbacks of hosting clients’ websites include:

  • Increased Responsibility. If something goes wrong, clients won’t call the hosting company. You’re the one who has to troubleshoot the problem.
  • Financial Risk. If the client doesn’t pay, you’re stuck footing the bill for hosting.

You can easily overcome the downsides of hosting clients’ websites by choosing a good host and using a well-written contract. Freelancers should use contracts for all projects to protect themselves.

Web hosting differs from a one-time development project, so you probably need to modify any contracts you’re using. Some states also treat development services and web hosting differently for tax purposes. Before offering to host a client’s website, check with a tax expert to determine if you need to collect sales tax on web hosting contracts.

Benefits of a Good Host

To provide hosting for multiple clients, you need a reliable, top-quality hosting service.

Look for a hosting provider with these benefits:

  • Reliability. Do they offer an uptime guarantee? Search for online reviews of the service.
  • Support. What type of hosting support do they offer? Can you reach their support team 24/7? Remember if you’re hosting clients’ websites, clients will contact you anytime their site goes down. You need to trust you can get a response quickly from your hosting provider.
  • No Hidden Fees. A good host will not charge you extra or hidden fees. Watch out for hosts with overage charges. If your client’s site went viral and experienced a massive spike in traffic, you could face a steep bill.

How to Host Websites for Clients as a Freelancer

If you want to start offering hosting to your clients, you’ll need to complete some due diligence first. We’ll review the checklist of items to consider before reviewing how to set up hosting.

Checklist for hosting websites for clients:

  • Pick a Hosting Provider. Research quality, support, pricing, and plan options to pick the best hosting provider.
  • Determine Your Pricing Structure. Decide how much you’re going to charge for hosting. Since you’ll provide support to the clients, you’ll need to mark up the hosting costs to cover your time.
  • Draft Hosting Contracts. Update your contracts to include a hosting option.
  • Include Hosting in Your Proposals. Prepare pricing and descriptions of your hosting services to include on any new proposals.

Steps on How to Setup Web Hosting for a Client

Once you’ve secured your first hosting client, how do you set up hosting?

Follow these steps to get your client’s new website up and running:

  1. Identify the hosting needed
  2. Update your account
  3. Build the site
  4. Update the DNS records for the URL
  5. Configure backups and other server settings

1. Identify the Type of Hosting Needed

What type of site does the client need? Do you need to build an ecommerce website quickly? Is it a static site? Do you need managed WordPress hosting? For a more detailed look at the different types of hosting, read this post on hosting.

2. Update Your Account

Once you know what type of site and hosting you need, you can update your account with the hosting provider. Most managed WooCommerce or WordPress hosting plans include a set number of stores or sites you can operate on the plan. If you have available slots on your plan, you can just set up a new site. If not, you might need to upgrade to the next plan.

3. Build the Site

Most hosts will give you a temporary domain to build your site. Set up the client’s site and complete all testing and revisions using the temporary domain.

4. Update the DNS Records for the URL

When you’re ready to make the client’s site live, you need to point the domain name to your servers. If the client purchased the domain name, you’ll provide the details of where to point the URL to your host. DNS changes can take 24 to 48 hours to propagate, so plan your site launch accordingly.

5. Configure Backups and Other Server Settings

If your hosting plan includes automatic backups or updates, configure those for each client’s site. Some hosting plans also include enhanced security monitoring.

Consider Hosting with Hostdedi

Hostdedi’ hosting plans deliver industry-leading results with exceptional service. Our competitive prices make it easy and affordable for freelancers to offer hosting for their clients.

Why freelancers like hosting with Hostdedi:

  • Premium Features. Many Hostdedi plans include image compression, built-in CDN, and advanced caching so your clients’ sites load with lightning speed.
  • Automatic Updates. You won’t have to worry about manual WordPress and WooCommerce updates with Hostdedi. We handle updates for you.
  • No Hidden Fees or Metering. If one of your sites sees a massive spike in traffic, your other sites won’t slow down, and you won’t face a surprise bill at the end of the month.
  • Best-in-Class Support and Security. Our team is constantly monitoring your servers, and you can reach our support team 24/7.

Add hosting to your freelancing services today. Check out our available plans and sign up for a free trial.

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Best Practices for Setting Up WordPress Redirects

Building a website is essential if you want to grow your business. Part of having a website means updating existing pages, resources, and more. Over time, you update or delete old content, replacing it with newer and better content.

Every time you delete content, change your URL structure, or move to a new domain, you need to redirect your URLs. The redirecting process sends visitors to your new content whenever they try to access posts that you’ve moved or deleted. If not redirected correctly, the page will result in a 404 error.

WordPress redirects are an inevitable part of the long process of improving your website. As you set up redirects, it’s important to follow best practices to avoid possible mistakes that can harm your website. Keep reading to learn best practices for correctly setting up WordPress redirects on your site.

Why WordPress Redirects Are Important

WordPress redirects can be a very beneficial tool for your website. As your website grows and evolves, you will need to update your site’s content or structure. This redirecting process can be complicated. If you don’t follow WordPress redirect best practices, you risk negatively impacting your website.

The good news is that there are WordPress hosting plans with plugin performance monitors which can watch the performance of your website both before and after you’ve added WordPress redirects.

That being said, poor WordPress redirects can negatively affect your website in two main aspects:

  • User experience (UX)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

User Experience

Most website visitors use a search engine to access your site. But when the search engine has difficulties finding the information that is supposed to be there, visitors will be sent to a broken link, also known as a 404 error.

These kinds of broken links negatively affect the user experience. When visitors find it difficult to access the information that they are looking for, they will move on to a new website.

Related reading: Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Performance Optimization >>

Moreover, even simple errors like these can make your website seem less professional and damage the user experience. This is why broken links should be avoided as much as possible, even though it is good to design and have a 404 page ready for a worst-case scenario.

The best tactic to avoid broken links or 404 errors is to redirect your users to a new URL after you delete or move a page.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In addition to poor user experience, a broken link can also damage your website by affecting your search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a major marketing technique that is used to draw organic traffic to your website, without the expense of paid marketing. Through SEO, you attract visitors to your website by making it appear higher in search engine results for certain search queries.

A broken link or a 404 error signals to search engines that visitors will not be able to find information on your website and so it will not drive traffic to your page. And considering that search engines drive 93% of all website traffic, that’s a big loss in terms of potential visits.

WordPress Redirect Best Practices

Setting up a redirect can be complicated, so keep in mind these useful practices that we have listed for you below.

Which Types of Redirects to Use

There are a few types of different WordPress redirects that you can use on your website. Here are some of the types of redirects you can run into:

  • 301 permanent
  • 302 found
  • 307 temporary

Using the wrong redirect can negatively impact your SEO, but the good news is that the decision of which redirect to use is a very easy one. It is almost always recommended to use a 301 redirect.

1. Using 301 Redirects

A 301 redirect indicates that you have moved your page permanently. This means that a 301 redirect tells search engines to pass all your information to your new domain — including the SEO value of your old page. The move of your SEO value is very beneficial to your website because this indicates that you will retain your position in all search results. When an SEO value moves, it means that your redirect will not have a negative impact on your site’s traffic.

Furthermore, a 301 redirect will permanently delete your old page’s URL by de-indexing it after a period of time, permanently replacing your URLs and making your move complete. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended to use a 301 redirect.

On the contrary, a 302 or a 307 redirect will perceive your move as temporary and will neither change your URL nor pass your SEO value to the new URL. This means that you will have to build your SEO from scratch and will essentially make you compete with your old SEO for higher positions in search results.

2. Use the WordPress Redirection Plugin

Plugins are essential tools with which you can extend the functionality of your website. WordPress has a broad collection of plugins available in the plugin page which you can find on your dashboard. When you are in the plugin page, click “add new” and search for plugins that you would want to activate.

Related reading: The Essential Guide to WordPress Plugins >>

One of the most popular plugins you can use is “Redirection” and it is available for free. Redirection is very easy to use and even easier to activate. All you need to do after you download it is to click on the Start Setup button and follow the instructions it gives you. Once you activate it, you can start using it to set up redirects for your WordPress website.

3. Avoid Redirect Chains

When your website grows, you might need to redirect more often, though it is better not to use too many redirects — otherwise you risk creating a loop that damages your website. Each redirect that you add loads your website with more requests, and with each request that is added, your page’s speed slows down. A slow website damages both the user experience and the SEO.

To avoid this, check your list of redirects and add the last redirect as your only one. This is quite easy to do with the WordPress Redirection plugin.

4. Remove Old Redirects

As mentioned, a 301 redirect is supposed to be indefinitely replaced by the new URL. This means that at some point you will have to delete your 301 redirect.

It can be tricky to decide when to delete a 301 redirect because deleting it too early can damage your SEO. If there are still available links that lead to your old URL, it is better to not delete your 301 redirect.

First, you need to make sure that all sites and links that point to your old URL are deleted or updated first. You also need to consider website traffic. It is best to delete a redirect after you confirm that it is no longer generating clicks.

It usually takes search engines one year to track your move to the new URL, so we recommend waiting approximately one year to see if your redirect is still attracting traffic. If there is still traffic on your redirect, then it is better to wait and check in later.

Now You Know

Redirects are an inevitable part of having a website. In the process of redirecting, you need to be careful not to damage the following:

  • User experience
  • Search engine optimization
  • Website speed

To create a successful redirect, you need to remember to:

  • Use 301 redirects
  • Use the WordPress Redirection plugin
  • Avoid redirect chains
  • Remove old redirects

Hostdedi Makes WordPress Redirects Easier

Don’t want to have to worry about all this? Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans.

We’ll watch your site’s performance every day and capture and compare the performance before and after plugin or theme changes have been made.

Some providers tell you your site is slow. We tell you why. And we include it free with every fully managed WordPress plan.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans today.

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How To Put Your WordPress Website Into Maintenance Mode

So you’ve finally stopped putting off updating your WordPress site, but you’re worried about the site not working during the updates. Enter WordPress maintenance mode. This mode lets visitors know the site is temporarily down for maintenance but will be back soon.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • What maintenance mode is.
  • Why and when to use maintenance mode.
  • How to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode.

What Does Maintenance Mode Mean in WordPress?

Maintenance mode temporarily disables the public-facing portion of your website, so you can perform updates and other maintenance. Instead of your typical site, visitors will see a message letting them know the site is down for maintenance.

Why is WordPress Maintenance Mode Necessary?

Maintenance mode helps site administrators ensure smooth WordPress updates.

Reasons to use maintenance mode include:

  • Making major design or content changes.
  • Preventing lost orders or data.
  • Fixing major bugs or security issues.

Making Major Design or Content Changes

Updating a website is a lot like organizing your kitchen or completing a DIY craft project. You’re probably going to make a huge mess before things start coming together. Maintenance mode allows you to make changes without visitors seeing the chaos of the process.

Preventing Lost Orders or Data

Depending on what types of updates your site needs, you risk losing vital information during the update process. Imagine if a customer started an order or a prospect began filling out a lead form right before you started making changes. Maintenance mode locks visitors out from completing forms or transactions to prevent any data loss.

Fixing Major Bugs or Security Issues

Suppose you’re trying to fix a major bug or recover from a security breach. Maintenance mode allows you to troubleshoot the issue without worrying about customers or hackers trying to use your site.

How to Put WordPress into Maintenance Mode

Putting your site into maintenance mode using the default WordPress maintenance mode requires no action on your part. When you run a plugin or core system update, WordPress activates and deactivates maintenance mode as a part of the process.

How Long Does Maintenance Mode Last?

The default maintenance mode for WordPress only lasts as long as the update takes to execute.

In this screengrab of a system update, the entire process took less than one minute. If you want maintenance mode active for longer to make other changes, keep reading to learn how to use a maintenance mode plugin.

How to Extend Maintenance-Mode in WordPress

If you want to put your WordPress site in maintenance mode for an extended period, a plugin works best. Plugins are simple to use and give you more control over the maintenance mode experience.

WordPress Maintenance Mode Plugins include:

How to Put WordPress into Maintenance Mode with a Plugin

If you want to put your WordPress site into maintenance mode for an extended time, a plugin is the best way to do it. But first you need to install and activate the right plugin.

Follow these steps to activate maintenance mode with a plugin:

  1. Download, Install, and Activate Your Plugin. Use the list above as a starting point. Many plugins offer free and paid versions.
  2. Configure Your Maintenance Plugin. Most plugins allow you to customize your maintenance mode message. Be sure to check the setting and build out your “down for maintenance” page according to your plugin’s instructions.
  3. Turn on Maintenance Mode. Load your website on a different device or in a private browser window to ensure the maintenance mode works.
  4. Complete Your Maintenance
  5. Turn Off Maintenance Mode

How Do I Get My WordPress Site Out of Maintenance Mode?

Sometimes WordPress gets stuck in maintenance mode. If you completed a system update but still see the maintenance mode message, log in to your web host via FTP or file manager and find the root WordPress folder. Delete the file called .maintenance to force the site out of maintenance mode.

Caching also causes sites to stay in maintenance mode. Try clearing your cache using your caching plugin. Many managed WordPress hosting accounts will include an option to clear your cache as well.

How to Avoid WordPress Maintenance Mode Errors

Updates create enough stress without having to worry about maintenance mode errors. You can’t always prevent glitches, but you can decrease the chances of a maintenance mode issue.

Ways to avoid maintenance mode issues include:

  • Not Attempting Several Updates at the Same Time. If you try to update too many items at once, you’re more likely to run into a problem. If one plugin update fails, it can cause a cascading effect. Make updates in small batches to ensure the best chances for success and decrease the likelihood of an error.
  • Using a Compatible and Well-Rated Plugin. Make sure the maintenance mode plugin you select is compatible with your version of WordPress. You can also check the plugin’s ratings to choose the best quality solution.
  • Clearing Your Cache. After you’ve finished any updates and turned off maintenance mode, clear your cache. Caching could cause issues with your maintenance mode or keep visitors from seeing the site updates you completed.

Make Maintenance Easier With Hostdedi

Managed WordPress Hosting by Hostdedi makes maintenance easy. Every plan includes automatic updates for your WordPress system files and plugins.

Our system even runs a visual comparison to identify any front-end issues caused by a plugin update. Hosting plans also include backup services, so you can always restore your site from a backup if your updates run awry.

Check out our fully managed WordPress hosting plans to get started today.

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