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How to Use the Kadence Blocks Plugin [2022]

Kadence is a WordPress theme with a supporting collection of plugins used to create beautifully effective websites. The theme is a flexible design tool in and of itself allowing for infinite possibilities of customization using the familiar WordPress interface.

While the advanced themes of the past tried to provide their own customization interface, Kadence is on the edge of modern WordPress design pushing the boundaries of what the WordPress block editor has to offer.

What Does Kadence Offer?

The Kadence theme for WordPress installs as a typical WordPress theme with a clean, modern style similar to what you would expect from the new Twenty Twenty-Two default theme. Out of the box the theme is unassuming and a clean slate for customization.

To get you started, Kadence offers many starter templates. Unlike traditional WordPress child themes that must be installed alongside a parent theme, these starter templates are pre-configured layouts and designs using the Kadence theme itself. Use these starter templates to make a lot of progress quickly and then use the theme to customize as needed to create your unique website.

Starter Template designs cover a large range of categories from shopping, to blogging, to agencies, and SaaS sites. There are also starter templates for specific business types like law firms, real estate, and web agencies. To name a few more there are also templates for churches, non-profits, and a playful design for a children’s museum.

How the Kadence Blocks Work

A major feature of the Kadence theme is the Kadence Blocks plugin, which provides common elements of website design as powerful blocks which can be used in the WordPress Block Editor.

How Kadence Differs From the Block Editor

The Block Editor (introduced as the Gutenberg editing experience) is the blocked-based layout and design system included with WordPress. Out of the box, the block editor includes the most common elements used in website design, such as paragraphs, headings, images, etc.

This new editing experience for WordPress is visual and flexible in a way that the TinyMCE was never intended to achieve. It also provides a framework for WordPress plugins to extend the editing capabilities of the Block Editor — this is where themes like Kadence and plugins like the Kadence Blocks plugin come into play.

The Kadence Blocks plugin builds upon the core WordPress Block Editor to provide more control and customization. Some of the Kadence blocks are more powerful versions of the default blocks (with extra settings and configuration options), while others offer new functionality that isn’t default behavior of the Block Editor.

How to Use the Kadence Blocks Editor

Advanced Heading Block

The Advanced Heading Block builds upon the Block Editor’s Heading Block adding advanced typography settings, spacing control for padding/margin, and inline highlighting controls for selected text within the Advanced Heading block.

The highlighting feature is particularly interesting and unexpected. Bringing attention to particular words within the heading is a design feature that is difficult to achieve with a block setting for it, which Kadence makes very easy.

Row Layout Block

The Row Layout Block builds upon the Block Editor’s Columns and Column Blocks, adding draggable resizing, background overlay settings, and column divider controls. Additionally, the Kadence Blocks plugin adds support for a design library of pre-built row layouts that can be customized in full.

Defining layouts can be difficult to implement with any specificity, but the Kadence row layout block provides a draggable interface for setting column width in relation to the other columns. This is especially helpful when designing specific layouts for specific text.

In the screenshot below, the heading text was slightly too wide for a 2 column layout, but with Kadence you can expand the width of the column as needed by the design.

Advanced Button Block

The Advanced Button Block builds upon the Block Editor’s Buttons Block by adding container margin control for a group of buttons — as well as icon support and hover styles for each individual button.

A great addition to the Buttons Block is the ability to set hover styles for the buttons using the Advanced Button block. This is a great improvement over the default Buttons Block.

Use Kadence Blocks With Hostdedi Hosting

The Kadence theme and the Kadence Blocks plugin offer powerful, flexible control over a WordPress website with advanced styling options, starter templates, and blocks that extend the WordPress editing experience.

Kadence is a great tool and it comes built into Hostdedi plans, such as StoreBuilder for ecommerce website design and fully managed WooCommerce for secure, performant online stores. Your store’s online presence is ready to scale to meet customer demand with Hostdedi hosting.

StoreBuilder includes both Kadence Theme PRO and Kadence Blocks PRO to create beautiful online stores with advanced sales tools that are easy to manage. Get the flexibility of Kadence with reliable and powerful hosting from Hostdedi.

Get started with Hostdedi today.

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A Guide to Understanding Cross-Border Ecommerce | Hostdedi

What is cross-border ecommerce and how can I tap into that growing market?

Expanding into new geographic markets can increase your sales. But selling across international borders introduces new complexities to your business.

When you have the right information and a robust cross-border ecommerce strategy, you can overcome the challenges and boost your profits.

Keep reading to learn about cross-border ecommerce, anticipated growth and challenges, and how to get started with it.

What is Cross-Border Ecommerce?

So what is cross-border ecommerce? It’s as simple as it sounds. Cross-border ecommerce is an online transaction where the buyer and seller are in different countries.

Types of cross-border ecommerce include:

  • Business-to-Consumer. B2C transactions cover traditional retail where companies sell directly to consumers.
  • Business-to-Business. In B2B ecommerce, another business is the customer instead of a consumer.
  • Consumer-to-Consumer. The rise of selling marketplaces created a new C2C ecommerce market where consumers sell to one another.

For more about the types of ecommerce and how they compare to ebusiness, read our post on the difference between ecommerce and ebusiness.

A Look at the Cross-Border Ecommerce Market

Analysts predict cross-border ecommerce will account for 22% of all ecommerce shipments of physical products worldwide in 2022. In 2016, cross-border transactions only accounted for 15% of the market.

Cross-border ecommerce is growing at twice the rate of domestic commerce, according to Accenture. What’s driving this growth? Consumers are showing an increasing willingness to purchase goods from foreign websites. Just look at the stats below from Cross Border: The Disruptive Frontier.

Examples of consumers’ high adoption of cross-border ecommerce include:

  • 62% of German consumers buy from abroad.
  • 63% of Dutch shoppers buy from cross-border retailers.
  • 75% of U.K. consumers buy from overseas retailers.
  • 84% of Irish shoppers buy abroad, the highest percentage of cross-border ecommerce shoppers in the world.

Cross-Border Ecommerce Growth

Improvements in technology and logistics make cross-border shopping easier for consumers. With the rise of marketplaces, many consumers may not even realize they’re buying something from a cross-border retailer.

Reasons more consumers are completing cross-border ecommerce transactions include:

  • Cheaper Prices. As more logistics and shipping companies enter the international shipping marketing, prices for cross-border shipments decrease. High shipping costs used to offset any pricing advantage a foreign retailer had. But now shoppers find better prices on items from international sellers, especially if the item is lightweight. Nearly 72% of cross-border purchases weigh less than 1 kilogram, according to Accenture.
  • Access to Different Brands. Expats or frequent travelers are looking for brands they can’t buy domestically.
  • Unique or Specialty Products. So, you can’t compete on price. Cross-border expansion could still be profitable if you offer specialty or custom products shoppers can’t find elsewhere.

Issues Facing Cross-Border Ecommerce

Entering international markets adds a layer of complexity to your ecommerce business. Figuring out how to create an ecommerce website is complicated enough before you add multiple languages and currencies into the mix.

Common pain points for cross-border ecommerce include:

  • Logistics and Delivery. Most ecommerce businesses have domestic shipping partners. To sell internationally, you may need additional shipping and logistics vendors. You also need a way to reliably calculate and display shipping charges and times during checkout. And you need to figure out how to manage the customs process.
  • Exchange and Returns. How will you handle exchanges or returns? When you research shipping partners, ask about return services.
  • Payments and Currencies. What payment methods will you accept? Can you display prices in the local currency?
  • Taxation. U.S. businesses are already familiar with the headaches of different sales tax rates and rules by city or state. International commerce adds the possibility of paying sales tax, value-added tax, and tariffs or duties.
  • Data Protection. Security is a top priority for all ecommerce businesses. You need to think carefully about protecting your new international customers’ data. For example, if you sell in Europe, you must ensure your policies and practices comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.
  • Regulatory Compliance. In addition to data privacy regulations, your business needs to comply with local regulations and the company’s customs laws.

Why Cross-Border Ecommerce is Essential to Your Business

Despite the additional technical, regulatory, and logistical requirements, cross-border ecommerce is worth the investment. Companies that fail to develop cross-border capabilities will fall behind competitors that enter foreign markets.

Cross-border ecommerce is growing much faster than domestic ecommerce. The best chance for growing your business could be in a global market.

Steps to Succeeding in Cross-Border Ecommerce

To improve your odds of success and ROI, take the time to develop a cross-border ecommerce strategy. Follow these steps to create your plan:

1. Do Your Research

2. Plan to Meet Consumers’ Expectations

3. Pick the Right Partners

Do Your Research

Start by researching which international markets make the most sense for your products. What is the state of the economy? Are consumers shopping cross-border ecommerce stores? Can you compete with local products and pricing?

Once you decide which markets make the most sense, research the country’s regulations, tax, and shipping options.

Plan to Meet Consumers’ Expectations

Buyers won’t cut you a break just because you’re shipping internationally. Many of the same expectations of domestic ecommerce consumers, like fast and free shipping, apply to cross-border ecommerce.

In a survey of cross-border shoppers, the most common expectations were:

  • Clear and upfront information about delivery charges
  • Simple, free returns process
  • Free delivery after meeting a minimum purchase threshold

Pick the Right Partners

To meet consumers’ expectations, you need to find the right vendors for shipping and logistics. For tips on shipping internationally, read our ecommerce guide to international shipping costs. It covers saving money on shipping, including the cheapest way to ship to Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia — three of the hottest markets for cross-border ecommerce.

Tools for Cross-Border Ecommerce

Expanding to a global ecommerce enterprise is difficult enough without technical issues. Before you can enter a new market, you need a fast, reliable, and well-designed ecommerce website.

With StoreBuilder by Hostdedi, our AI engine does the hard work of setting up a new WooCommerce website. We’ve already vetted and selected the plugins you need to get your store up and running. And because StoreBuilder runs on WooCommerce, you can add any additional integration and features you need to begin selling across borders.

Try this innovative online store builder risk-free for 30 days.

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How to Resolve a 500 Internal Server Error on WordPress I Hostdedi

Sometimes things happen. Sometimes things happen for no reason at all. However, most likely things do happen for a reason — even if that reason isn’t immediately obvious. When something does happen there is usually an error code that helps to point us in the right direction.

You might be familiar with the 404 Not Found or maybe the 301 Redirect (which isn’t an error at all, but redirect too many times and you’ll be in for a surprise!). Sometimes things go wrong and all you get is a “Something is broken!” message… Ah, our old friend 500 Internal Server Error.

Keep reading to learn about the 500 Internal Server Error on WordPress. Learn the steps you can take to fix an Internal Server Error on WordPress in this blog.

What Is A 500 Internal Server Error?

A 500 Internal Server Error is a message you’ll see on some websites when something unexpected happens. It means that there is something wrong with the website — not your browser or internet connection.

While the specific wording varies by server, for a 500 Internal Server Error on WordPress

you should see something like:

  • 500 Internal Server Error
  • Error 500
  • Internal Server Error
  • Server Error 500
  • HTTP 500 Error

What Are The Causes Of an Internal Server Error 500?

When something unexpected happens, and there is not a more fitting error code you will see a 500 Internal Server Error. Causes include file corruption, permission errors, plugins, and more. This can seem intimidating, but at this point at least you know that there is a problem — and you can go about fixing it.

Steps To Fix A 500 Internal Server Error On A WordPress Website

Plugins Causing a 500 Internal Server Error

With a plugin-based system like WordPress, plugins written by different authors (and at different points in time) can conflict with each other. This is certainly the kind of thing that can cause unexpected errors. In this case, in order to identify the problem, you will need to disable all of your plugins and then re-enable them one-by-one until the error is reproduced.

If you have access to the wp-admin, then you can log in to your WordPress dashboard and using the plugins menu screen deactivate all plugins in bulk. If you do not have access to the wp-admin (presumably because of the 500 error) then you can disable plugins manually by temporarily renaming the plugin folders on the server.

Once you find the plugin that is causing the error you can try rolling back the plugin version to a previous version that does not cause the error. If rolling back the plugin version resolves the issue, then it would be helpful to reach out to the plugin developer to let them know of the error.

Check the Error Logs

Even though the server error is unexpected, there are often troubleshooting notes in the error log. These errors are not publicly visible and can only be accessed via the server.

Developers add these private error messages as breadcrumbs so that they can trace a problem (such as a 500 error) related to the server without accidentally exposing secret server information, such as the server configuration.

This information is very valuable to both developers and hackers, so these error messages are kept privately in the error log on the server.

If you are not seeing anything listed in the error log, you will want to make sure that WP_DEBUG is configured correctly on your site to log errors. This can be helpful to get troubleshooting information without displaying the error message publicly.

Be Proactive

Perhaps the best advice for preventing unexpected errors on your website is to be proactive and check for errors yourself before publishing changes.

When you make a change to your website, such as installing a new plugin, test out common features of your website. You can take this a step further and use what is called a development environment or a development site.

Can A Server Error 500 Be Prevented?

By their nature, 500 errors are reserved for the unexpected and it is difficult to prepare for the unexpected. However, you can update your workflow to catch potential 500 errors by using a development site.

Before you make changes on your website, like installing a new plugin or changing the theme, making those changes on a development site will allow you to check for errors before migrating those changes to your public website.

Consider WordPress Hosting With Hostdedi

Sometimes things happen. The important part is how we react to things when they happen.

A host offering fully managed WordPress hosting will provide the tools that you need to handle errors as they happen — because at some point they will happen.

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

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How To Uninstall a Magento Theme: A Detailed Guide | Hostdedi

You can uninstall a Magento 2 theme in two ways:

  • By removing it from the Magento codebase and database manually.
  • By using the Magento theme uninstall command.

The method you can use depends on multiple factors, such as:

  • How the Magento 2 application was installed — using Composer or cloning GitHub.
  • How the theme was installed — using Composer or by uploading theme files.

If you installed the theme by uploading the files, you need to uninstall it manually regardless of how you installed Magento. But, if you installed it using Composer, then the removal method varies based on the Magento installation process.

Keep reading to learn:

  • Prerequisites for Uninstalling a Magento 2 Theme
  • Steps To Uninstall a Magento 2 Theme Manually
  • Steps To Uninstall a Magento 2 Theme Using Composer
  • Final Thoughts: How To Uninstall a Magento Theme

Prerequisites for Uninstalling a Magento 2 Theme

Follow these steps before you remove a theme in Magento 2.

1. Ensure the Theme Isn’t Applied to a Store View

Go to Content > Design > Configuration in the Magento admin. Ensure the theme you wish to uninstall isn’t assigned to a store view. If it is, follow Adobe’s guide demonstrating how to change a theme in Magento 2 and assign an alternate theme.

2. Verify the Theme Isn’t Set as a Parent Theme

Go to Content > Design > Themes in the Magento admin panel. Check the Parent Theme column to verify your custom theme isn’t listed there. If it is, uninstall the child theme first and then the parent theme.

3. Back up the Magento Database and Filesystem

Adobe deprecated Magento’s inbuilt backup functionality in Magento 2.3.0 and later versions. Although you can still use it from the command-line interface (CLI), they no longer recommend using it.

Consult your hosting provider for options to back up your Magento store and explore an alternative binary backup tool such as Percona XtraBackup to backup the database.

If you’re a Hostdedi customer, you can take an on-demand backup of your Magento store in addition to the free 30-day incremental backups. Log in to your Client Portal and go to Plan Dashboard > Backups > Create Backup to back up your store.

4. Change the Magento Operation Mode to Developer or Default

Clear generated classes and proxies from the Magento CLI using the following command:


$ rm -rf <magento-root>/generated/metadata/* <magento-root>/generated/code/*


Then, switch Magento to the developer mode using:


$ php bin/magento deploy:mode:set developer


Steps To Uninstall a Magento 2 Theme Manually

If you’re using a custom Magento theme, you may have installed it manually by placing the theme files in a directory in the app/design folder in the Magento root.

Here’s how you can manually remove a theme in Magento 2:

Step 1: Enable Maintenance Mode

Put your store in maintenance mode to disable bootstrapping when you uninstall the Magento 2 theme.

Log in to your Magento 2 server as the Magento file system owner and run the following command to enable maintenance mode:


$ php bin/magento maintenance:enable


Step 2: Remove the Theme Directory From the Magento Filesystem

Manually installed Magento themes are usually placed in the app/design directory in the Magento root. Find the path to where the theme files are placed in the Magento root and delete the theme folder.

For example:


$ rm -rf <magento-root>/app/design/frontend/<vendor-name>


Step 3: Remove the Theme Record From the Magento Database

Next, to remove the Magento 2 theme, delete all records and references to the theme inside the store database using the following command:


$ mysql -u <user> -p -e “delete from <dbname>.theme where theme_path ='<vendor>/<theme>’ AND area =’frontend’ limit 1”


Replace the following placeholders before executing the command:

  • <user>: Enter the Magento database username.
  • <dbname>: Enter the Magento database name.
  • <vendor>/<theme>: Enter the relative path to the theme directory.

Step 4: Clear Caches and Disable Maintenance Mode

To complete the uninstallation process, clear all Magento caches using the following command:


$ php bin/magento cache:clean


Finally, disable maintenance mode using:


$ php bin/magento maintenance:disable


If you notice any errors on the frontend, clear the cache of other caching applications such as Varnish or Redis.

Steps To Uninstall a Magento 2 Theme Using Composer

The steps to uninstall a Magento 2 theme using Composer vary slightly based on the Magento 2 installation method. If you installed Magento using Composer, you can uninstall the theme using a CLI command.

However, if you installed Magento by cloning its Git repo, you’ll need to remove the theme from Magento’s composer.json file before using the command.

Here’s how to uninstall a Magento 2 theme using Composer:

Step 1: Remove the Theme From the Magento composer.json File (GitHub Install Only)

Note: This step is only required if you’ve installed Magento by cloning its Git repository.

Log in to the Magento file system and go to the Magento root directory.

Edit the Magento composer.json file using your preferred text editor and delete the line referencing the theme package.

Here’s a composer.json file with sample data for reference:

After removing the reference to the theme package from the “require” section, update the Magento project dependencies via the CLI using:


$ composer update


Now, you can safely run the Magento theme uninstall command as described in the next step.

Note: You can also remove the dependency using the composer remove command. However, in that case, make sure you delete the theme record from the Magento database manually.

Step 2: Run the Magento Theme Uninstall Command

Execute the following command in the CLI:


$ php bin/magento theme:uninstall –backup-code –clear-static-content {theme path}


This command:

  • Checks if the theme exists at the defined theme path.
  • Verifies the theme is a Composer package.
  • Checks for dependencies, verifies the absence of a virtual theme, and that the theme isn’t currently in use.

If all checks are successful, it will:

  • Put the store in maintenance mode and back up the codebase if the –backup-code command is used.
  • Remove the theme from the Magento database tables first and then from the codebase with composer remove.
  • Clear cache files and generated classes. If –clear-static-content is specified, it will also clear static view files.
  • Disable maintenance mode once the process is complete.

If dependencies exist, you may see an error such as:

Resolve the dependency issue and rerun the uninstall command. If the theme relies on another theme, you can remove both simultaneously as follows:


$ php bin/magento theme:uninstall frontend/SampleCorp/SampleModuleTheme frontend/SampleCorp/SampleModuleThemeDepend –backup-code


Final Thoughts: How To Uninstall a Magento Theme

No matter how you uninstall a Magento 2 theme, make sure you consult your theme developers’ documentation for extra steps such as removing any associated extensions. It also helps to take a backup of your Magento store to avoid data loss.

Get access to on-demand backups at the click of a button and simplify operating a Magento store by signing up for Managed Magento hosting with Hostdedi today.

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7 Best 404 Page Examples for Ecommerce Sites | Hostdedi

Everyone hates it when they can’t find what they’re looking for in a store. It’s even worse when you can’t find a product online and end up with the old 404 “page not found” error. Unfortunately, 404 pages are a fact of life for ecommerce websites.

To ensure yours help instead of hinder your shoppers, we’ve assembled this list of the best 404 page examples for ecommerce.

In this post, we explain the importance of a 404 page, examine seven examples of 404 ecommerce pages, and highlight the best practices you can implement on your site.

Importance of a 404 Page

If someone gets lost in a store, they can always look for overhead signs or ask an employee. But what happens online? Yes, there’s a search function, but even so, people often end up lost on a 404 page.

What Causes 404 Errors?

A 404 error refers to the numerical error code a web server sends when a page can’t be found. At some point, every website will experience a 404 page.

Ecommerce websites or other high traffic and high page volume sites tend to be more likely to experience 404 errors. The sites have more links and therefore more chances for something to go awry.

Reasons customers land on a 404 page on an ecommerce website include:

  • Typing Error or Misspelling in the URL. If someone types the link directly into the address bar, it’s easy to make a mistake or miss a letter, especially if they’re typing on their phone.
  • Server Issue. Technical difficulties can cause 404 errors.
  • Deleted Page or Product. If you remove and delete a page or product, the link will no longer work. While your website knows you deleted the link, you can’t change all the places people saved it.
  • Changed URL. If your URL changed, anyone who saved the old link ends up on a 404 page unless you set up a redirect. For example, if your ecommerce site uses categories in your link structure and you change your category names, all your URLs will change.

Related reading: 14 Modern Website Design Trends for 2022 >>

Impact on Conversions

A page not found error creates a negative impression of your business. Customers get frustrated when links don’t work, and they can’t find what they are looking for. You could have customers falling in love with an item on a Pinterest board only to be disappointed when they click through to discover the link doesn’t work.

A well-designed 404 page can turn the experience around. A good 404 page should help salvage the customer’s experience. If you redirect the customer to the item they were searching for or something else they’ll be interested in, you can still convert them into a customer.

Examples of Ecommerce 404 Pages

So what does a good 404 page look like on an ecommerce website? Let’s look at some of the best 404 pages in ecommerce.


The sporting goods retailer’s self-deprecating humor about their aim being off and landing in a sand trap fits their brand perfectly.

Urban Outfitters

The gif is funny and matches their brand while a selection of their most popular products tries to steer customers back to a product page.

Sur la Table

The joke about a recipe not turning out matches the brand. The selection of featured products with a prominent search bar make this page funny and helpful.


This 404 page from Birchbox shines for its simplicity by giving you two options to continue your search for the right product.


Men’s clothing company Bonobos adds a custom touch by giving people contact information for personal assistance finding what they need.


Simplicity reigns supreme on this 404 page with three options to go back, go to the homepage, or try a search.

The Container Store

While not as visually appealing as some of the other 404 pages on this list, The Container Store’s page takes the cake for usability. The five options give customers the widest selection of ways to find what they’re searching for.

Ecommerce 404 Page Best Practices

What’s the takeaway from these 404 page examples for ecommerce? To make your page stand out from the rest, you need to incorporate ecommerce best practices.

Best practices for 404 pages include:

  • Humanize the Message. “Sorry, page not found” sounds bland. Use creative and catchy copy that matches your brand. Academy and Sur la Table played to their brand’s strengths with their 404 page copy.
  • Keep It Simple. All the examples we reviewed kept their design and user experience simple. If someone is lost, redirect them as quickly as possible. Provide concise options to help them locate the page they want.
  • Include Search and Contact Information. The Container Store page excelled at providing customers with different ways to find what they need, including search, top category links, and contact information. Don’t leave people without a clue as to where to go next. Letting them reach out to a person is a great option.
  • Promote Products. Most shoppers, at some point, click on something in the “recommend for you” section of an ecommerce site. So consider adding product recommendations to your 404 page. You could also use the space to promote options like buy now, pay later.

Get Help Building Your Ecommerce 404 Page

A well-designed 404 page for ecommerce starts with a well-designed ecommerce site. StoreBuilder by Hostdedi simplifies the design and setup of your WooCommerce store.

Just answer a few questions, and StoreBuilder will create a beautiful and functional ecommerce site. You’ll be on your way to adding products in just a few minutes.

Try the website store builder risk-free for 30 days.

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What is a WordPress Staging Site? 3 Ways to Set It Up [2022]

Your worst fear comes true. You make a small change to your website, like updating a plugin, and your entire site crashes.

When you ask for help, the first thing someone asks is, “Did you test the change on your staging site first?”

Wait, what is a WordPress staging site?

A WordPress staging site is a test environment where you can change your website without impacting the live website. Staging sites help prevent catastrophic website crashes by allowing you to preview changes before making them live.

In this post on WordPress staging environments, you’ll learn:

  • When to use a WordPress staging site.
  • Benefits of a WordPress staging site.
  • How to set up WordPress staging.

What is a WordPress Staging Site?

A WordPress staging site is a replica of your live website that you can use to test any changes before making them visible to the public.

Typical WordPress development workflow includes three versions of your website:

  • Dev or Development. Developers often test changes by setting up a copy of WordPress on their computers, then pushing the changes from their local development environment to the live site.
  • Staging. This is a test version on your site. Unlike a development environment, staging sites run on your actual web server, making it easier to test changes to dynamic elements that require a live server.
  • Production. This is the live version of your website that visitors see.

If you’re just getting started with WordPress, you don’t need to mess with setting up a local development environment. A staging site provides all the testing functionality you’ll need.

When syncing between staging sites and production sites, you’ll see the terms push and pull used. You push changes from stage to production. If you want to start working on new changes, you’ll pull the current version of your site from production to stage.

This process ensures that any edits someone made on the live site sync to the staging site. Otherwise, you could write over those changes the next time you push to production.

When to Use a WordPress Staging Environment

As a best practice, use a staging site for any change you’d like to make to your website. Make the change on the staging site first and then push it to your live site.

Not everyone follows this best practice, especially for minor copy edits. That’s why we recommend syncing your live site to your staging site before beginning any work.

Reasons to use a WordPress staging site include:

  • Installing New Plugins or Themes. Plugins and themes impact the layout and functionality of your site. Installing them on your staging site allows you to check to see how the new theme or plugin will affect your site.
  • Updating Core System, Themes, or Plugins. Updates to your WordPress core system or themes or plugins have the potential to affect your site’s appearance or function. Test the updates first on a staging site.
  • Adding or Modifying Custom Code. Custom modifications to your site’s code can crash or slow down your WordPress site. The staging site gives you a safe place to test the alterations before pushing them to the live site.

Benefits of Using a WordPress Staging Site

The most obvious benefit of using a WordPress staging site is to prevent crashing your live site. In today’s digital-first world, websites provide the majority of many businesses’ sales or leads. In addition to the technical headache, crashing your website negatively affects your bottom line.

Another benefit of using a WordPress staging site is it allows you to test new designs and layouts. You can try different versions of new designs before selecting the one you like best.

If you’re still new to WordPress, a staging site also offers a safe place to learn and try new things in the system. If you mess something up, you can always download a clean version of your live production site.

For freelance web developers, a staging site allows you to complete an update and get client approval before making it live.

How to Setup a WordPress Staging Site

Setting up a WordPress staging site is surprisingly simple when you have the right tools.

Three methods of setting up a WordPress staging site:

1. Web Host Staging. Top-quality managed WordPress hosting will often include a staging site. Setting up your staging site and syncing between stage and production only requires clicking a button. This is the best option for WordPress beginners.

2. WordPress Staging Plugin. If your host doesn’t offer a staging environment, you can use a plugin like WP Staging. Plugins work similarly to the functionality provided by good web hosts.

3. Manual Staging Sites. If all else fails, you can create a copy of your website on a subdomain and migrate the site manually or with a site migration plugin. Check out our guide on switching web hosts for more details about how site migration works. This option is tedious and why we recommend selecting a host with one-click staging.

Easy WordPress Staging Sites from Hostdedi

At Hostdedi, all of our managed WordPress hosting plans include one-click staging environments.

We understand your focus is on building your business. You don’t have time to troubleshoot website crashes. Not only can you quickly set up a staging site with our hosting plans, each plan includes automatic updates with visual comparison.

When your site updates or installs new plugins, our system scans your site to show you any changes, so you can correct them right away if something goes wrong.

Sign up today and experience the difference in premium hosting designed for WordPress sites.

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Understanding the WooCommerce Plugin | Hostdedi

So you’ve decided to launch a new ecommerce store. One of the first decisions facing you is which ecommerce platform to base your store on. There are many excellent ecommerce applications to choose from, including Magento, Craft Commerce, and WooCommerce, among others.

You may be wondering, What is WooCommerce?

Before making a choice, you should understand what the options are and how they differ.

WooCommerce Is Free

The first things to know about WooCommerce are that it is free and open source. You don’t have to pay anything to use WooCommerce, and its code can be examined and edited by anyone. You might not understand why this matters, but if you use WooCommerce for your ecommerce store, you own and control the store and its data.

That’s not true of many ecommerce platforms — such as Shopify.

WooCommerce is based on WordPress, so before we move on to talking about it, let’s take a brief WordPress refresher. WordPress is a content management system. In fact, it’s the most popular content management system in the world by a large margin. A content management system makes it easy to publish content on the web. Rather than writing code, CMS users interact with an intuitive interface. Content management systems make web publishing accessible to everyone.

WooCommerce and WordPress

One of WordPress’ most important features is its plugin system. WordPress itself provides a core set of features for managing and publishing content, including a text editor, taxonomies for organizing content, and under-the-hood systems for interacting with web servers and databases. Plugins extend that basic functionality in interesting ways. For example, the Yoast SEO Plugin adds features that help WordPress users optimize content for search engines. There are many thousands of WordPress plugins.

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that modifies WordPress’ behavior and adds features that transform it into a powerful eCommerce platform. WooCommerce can support ecommerce stores that range from single-product stores to stores with thousands of products. WooCommerce brings to WordPress catalogue management features, navigation interface elements suitable for ecommerce stores, integration with payment gateways, tools for managing shipping, and many other features.

WooCommerce Features

WooCommerce is scalable; it’s capable of supporting very busy online retailers. It’s also mobile friendly: many shoppers make purchases on their mobile devices and mobile-friendliness helps to build great experiences for shoppers and with search engine optimization.

Just like WordPress, WooCommerce has its own plugin ecosystem, with a mixture of paid and free plugins. The plugins — or extensions as they’re called in the WooCommerce community — add features to WooCommerce, including payment gateways, analytics integrations, dynamic pricing, among others.

WooCommerce Hosting

To use WordPress and WooCommerce, you’ll need a hosting account that supports WordPress. Performance and support are especially important where ecommerce is concerned, so you should make sure you choose a hosting provider that understands ecommerce hosting and offers performance-optimized WooCommerce hosting specifically engineered to make the most of WooCommerce. Look for a host like Hostdedi.

Check out Hostdedi’ fully managed WooCommerce hosting plans to get started today.

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WordPress Functions: How to Create Custom Function PHP

WordPress is rightly famed for the vast array of WordPress plugins and themes it makes available to site owners. If you want to add a feature to your WordPress site, you will almost certainly find a plugin that does the job.

But, on occasion, you may need to tweak a WordPress function. Sometimes there isn’t a plugin available to do this. The solution is to add a snippet of custom code to the site. Learning how to create custom function PHP in WordPress will be key.

Related reading: WordPress Cleanup: 9 Easy Ways To Clean Up and Optimize Your WordPress Site >>

WordPress is a PHP application and WordPress plugins and themes are written in the PHP programming language. As a WordPress hosting client, you have access to the same hooks and tools WordPress developers use.

You don’t even have to be a PHP expert to do this. There are thousands of pre-made snippets around the web that you can adapt to your own purposes.

Take care though — there are security implications to adding code to your site and badly written code can stop your WordPress site from working altogether. Make sure you know what a WordPress function does and that it is compatible with your version of WordPress before you add it to your site.

Once you have discovered the need for a function and written it from scratch or adapted a prewritten function, where should you put it?

There is a wrong way and a right way to do this. If you do it the “wrong” way, your WordPress function may work initially, but it is likely to stop working when you update your site.

Related reading: How to Customize a WordPress Theme >>

The Wrong Way to Create Custom Function PHP in WordPress

You want to learn how to create custom function PHP in WordPress. When creating custom WordPress functions, don’t use these two methods. The two most common “bad” ways to add custom functions to WordPress are editing an existing plugin or editing the functions.php file.

Don’t edit plugin files. If your snippet changes the functionality of a plugin, it might seem sensible to add the new code directly to the plugin. But, when you update the plugin, the files you have changed will be overwritten and your code will disappear.

The functions.php file is not a general purpose dumping ground for custom code. The functions.php file belongs to your theme. If the code you want to add is theme-specific, then functions.php is a good place to put it. But, when you switch themes, the new theme will not have the custom code. Avoid putting general-purpose custom code in functions.php.

The Right Way To Add Custom WordPress Functions

There are a couple of ways to add custom functions to WordPress that will last beyond your next update or theme switch.

The Code Snippets Plugin

The Code Snippets plugin is designed for exactly this purpose. It provides a graphical interface for adding code snippets to a WordPress site. You can add as many snippets as you want, enable and disable them easily, and export them in a format that can be imported into other WordPress sites with the Code Snippets plugin.

The Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Performance Optimization >>

Build A Custom Plugin

You might find the idea daunting, but it is not difficult to build a custom plugin that can be installed on a WordPress site alongside third-party plugins. The basic structure of a minimal plugin looks like this:

  • A folder with the same name as your plugin, e.g. my-plugin. This is not essential but it’s useful if you want to add more files in the future.
  • A PHP file inside that folder called my-plugin.php

In the my-plugin.php file, add the following text:

/* Plugin Name: Example Plugin */

That is essentially all you need to create a plugin, although it won’t do anything yet. To make it useful, you need to add your custom function to the PHP file and then upload the folder to the plugin directory of your WordPress site, usually wp-content/plugins/.

If you need to add new WordPress functions, you can simply overwrite the old version with your changes.

Power Your WordPress Site With Fully Managed Hosting

If your WordPress host is not providing you with the speed, scalability, and support you need, consider fully managed WordPress hosting from Hostdedi.

Hostdedi can make your WordPress site faster with:

  • A built-in CDN with 22 locations.
  • Advanced caching for ultra-fast loading.
  • Image compression to lower browser load times.
  • And much more.

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

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A Quick Guide on How To Create a Design Portfolio [2022]

First impressions matter and nothing shows that more clearly than a 2021 study conducted by Top Design Firms (and quoted by HubSpot). The study states that 50% of website users believe web design is critical for your overall brand.

With such little margin of error, you can’t afford to have a mundane portfolio website. The success of your design business depends on it.

Most of your website visitors will be other designers, prospective clients, and employers. To capture their attention and keep them engaged, you must build your design portfolio website the right way. But how do you go about that?

Read on to find out:

Why You Need a Design Portfolio

If you’re a designer of any kind, here are some reasons you need a portfolio:

  • Your portfolio acts as a professional resume. Most recruiters will find you fit for a full-time job by first looking at your portfolio.
  • You can show your design skills and unique expertise as a designer with your portfolio.
  • A portfolio helps you keep your work relevant and up-to-date with market standards.
  • You can use your portfolio to get freelance projects. Besides adding to your experience, side projects will make you an extra income on the side.

How To Create a Design Portfolio

1. Ensure people can easily access your portfolio.

2. Showcase your most outstanding and excellent work.

3. Go for high-resolution designs.

4. Show how passionate you are about your work.

5. Use client recommendations and case studies.

6. Showcase side projects and non-client work.

These six tips will improve the overall quality of your design portfolio. Let’s have a closer look at them.

1. Ensure People Can Easily Access Your Portfolio.

You can get as creative as you want with your portfolio website. In fact, you can show a bit of personality and expertise by building an innovative portfolio. You can also experiment with creative layouts on your website’s UX design experience.

However, you must always remember your online portfolio isn’t just for you. Many people will explore your work. That includes other designers, family, friends, potential employers, and partners.

Always choose intuitive UI designs and user-friendly website templates. That way, users can scroll through your portfolio website with little effort.

You should also keep in mind that 42% of users leave a website with poor functionality. So, make your website responsive.

Think about it. If the creative director of your dream web design firm opens your portfolio website on their smartphone, they can quickly scroll through your designs.

That’s not all. You can also take advantage of other digital platforms to enhance your portfolio. For example, a well-curated Dribbble or Behance profile is just as powerful as your portfolio. So are your social media pages. Try whatever works. You can have them all at once.

2. Showcase Your Most Outstanding Work.

Your portfolio allows you to showcase your finest work to the world in a unique way. Unless you’re Michelangelo, take some time to select your best work out of everything you’ve ever created.

Only display work you’re proud of from past projects. That helps you communicate professionalism. It also justifies new projects from employers — and incredible rewards for it.

Here, you can also curate your work based on your career prospects. Do you like building UI/UX for mobile apps? Then fill your portfolio with mobile app mockups. It doesn’t hurt to be a generalist either.

A diverse portfolio can help you show off a versatile skillset. It also displays your ability to fit into dynamic design teams.

3. Go for High-Resolution Designs.

If you’re looking to build an eye-catching portfolio, use high-quality images of your designs. High-quality visuals tie into the user experience of your portfolio website homepage.

Many people will look at them from different devices. And while an image may appear sharp on your smartphone, it may appear blurred on a large computer monitor.

If you’re a multimedia artist, always render your videos in the best quality available. Close-up images of your product designs make them appear lively. Moreover, you can always compress media files to make your website more responsive.

4. Show How Passionate You Are About Your Work.

Does design work excite you? Do you love to create beautiful redesigns or flashy fonts and typography? Then talk about it.

Potential clients and employers love designers who enjoy their work. Being a creative professional gives you room to express yourself and advertise your personal brand.

Use your passion to display your authenticity across all your design projects. It doesn’t just show confidence in your own abilities, but it also helps people connect with your work.

5. Use Client Recommendations and Case Studies.

Have you worked with other clients in the past? What did they think about your work? Client reviews can be a potent addition to your portfolio page. It’s an excellent way to show experience and expertise.

Testimonials also give your potential employers confidence about your work ethic and results.

The same goes for case studies. Use two or three previous visual design projects to discuss your design process with your potential clients. Talk about your successes and failures and how you solved critical design problems. After all, aren’t all employers looking for solutions?

Case studies also allow you to prove your ability to develop innovative solutions.

6. Showcase Side Projects and Non-Client Work.

If you’re new in the design industry, that’s okay. Any side projects, non-profit work, and collaborations can work as content for your portfolio.

Non-client work works the same way client jobs do — it gives your customers a sense of your skills and style. If you’re fresh out of design school, use the best designs you created while there. If you helped with logo design for your friend’s online store, that counts too.

Try, where possible, to only showcase real-world designs. Side projects can give you real experience working with people. Besides that, you can turn them into case studies.

What Are Hiring Managers Looking for in Design Portfolios?

Here are some key things Creative Managers look for in successful graphic design portfolios:

  • Self-Awareness and a Growth Mindset: Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses? Are you working to improve your profession and yourself as a person?
  • Excellent Problem-Solving Skills: Can you identify problems and create a coherent plan to solve them? Recruiters find that skill valuable.
  • Collaboration: How well do you work with others in teams? In many cases, you’ll have to work with other people to achieve company goals.
  • Experience: Many recruiters prefer candidates with experience. However, you can still build it by taking internships, joining communities, and freelancing.

Final Thoughts: A Quick Guide on How To Create a Design Portfolio

If you want to enjoy success as a creative designer, ensure you add all these features to your new portfolio website. Giving recruiters and clients a seamless portfolio experience will improve your reputation and increase your income.

Are you planning to sell design assets like logos, typography, or product designs? Create your first online store using the Hostdedi StoreBuilder and go straight to market where your clients are.

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5 Best WordPress Security Plugins for Your New Website [2022]

According to W3Techs, WordPress powers over 40% of all websites on the internet, making WordPress the most popular global content management system.

But that also makes WordPress the world’s favorite platform for hackers to attack.

In 2020, Patchstack found 582 unique security vulnerabilities in WordPress core and third-party themes and plugins. This means you need to prioritize your website security.

How can you improve your website security?

You can use the best WordPress security plugins. Read on to find out more:

WordPress Security Plugins 101

WordPress security plugins protect your website from malware attacks. Think of them like antivirus software, but for your website. They also help improve your SEO and website rankings.

Security plugins help you:

  • Prevent brute force hack attempts on your website from bots.
  • Prevent your core PHP and database files from being corrupted by malicious code.
  • Audit your WordPress site for security threats and clean up infected files.
  • Perform malware removal and repair corrupted files.
  • Create real-time backups for your website in case you lose your data.

Besides protecting you from hackers, malware, and DDoS attacks, WordPress security plugins track other installed plugins on your website to auto-update and avoid security vulnerabilities.

Choosing the Best WordPress Security Plugins for Your Website

While choosing the best WordPress website security plugin, keep the following things in mind:

  • Customer support — Choose a plugin that offers excellent customer support. You may need its services to recover from a security breach.
  • Extensive features — Make sure the plugin has all the essential features, including a firewall and two-factor authentication.
  • Frequent updates — Choose a plugin that frequently updates to tackle the latest threats.
  • Optimized code — The plugin should protect your website without interfering with your website’s speed or core functionality.
  • Regular notifications — The plugin should regularly notify you about your website’s health.

Best WordPress Security Plugins

  1. Sucuri.
  2. Wordfence.
  3. Jetpack.
  4. iThemes Security Pro.
  5. All in One WP Security & Firewall.


Sucuri is a popular WordPress security plugin. With its core functionality, you can detect malware, monitor the integrity of your website, and protect your website from attacks.

As a cloud-based solution, Sucuri makes for a great supplement to your existing web security. It also comes with an intuitive interface that’s easy to learn for beginners and professionals alike.

Key Features

  • Blacklist Monitoring.
  • Security hardening and file integrity monitoring.
  • Quick website security audits.
  • Access to advanced DDoS protection.
  • Several SSL certificate packages.
  • Instant email notifications upon unusual website activity.
  • CDN performance optimization and bot blocking.
  • Beginner tutorials and guides.
  • Enhanced login security.

Best WordPress security plugin for: Larger websites and ecommerce storefronts.

Price: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $199/year.


Wordfence is another excellent WordPress security plugin, especially if you’re looking for website firewall protection. Unlike Sucuri, Wordfence is local to your website and can perform deep scans and provide end-to-end encryption for connections to your website.

Wordfence has one of the best user interfaces as far as security plugins go. You can navigate complicated security functions easily and manage your website from the Wordfence dashboard.

Key Features

  • User-friendly dashboard to manage website’s activity, scans, and login attempts.
  • Malware scanner that protects against real-time threats.
  • Malware signature updates, IP blacklists, and firewall rules.
  • Two-factor authentication.
  • Free web application firewall (WAF).
  • Brute force protection.
  • IP address blocking.

Best WordPress security plugin for: Small businesses and WooCommerce websites.

Price: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $99/year.


Jetpack offers a suite of security tools for your WordPress website. When you activate the protection module, Jetpack instantly secures your login page.

Jetpack’s anti-spam feature blocks malware and gives you regular reports of on-site activity.

Key Features

  • One-click website backup and restore.
  • Priority support for premium users.
  • Downtime monitoring.
  • Activity logs and plugin updates.
  • 30-day archive.
  • Brute force attack protection.
  • Jetpack Anti-spam.

Best WordPress security plugin for: Customers looking for all-round security and SEO functionality.

Price: Free with limited features. Premium version plans start at $4.92/month when billed annually.

iThemes Security Pro

iThemes Security Pro protects your website by stopping automated attacks, monitoring your website, and enforcing strong passwords. It also scans for plugin security vulnerabilities and offers brute force protection to secure your website further.

Key Features

  • Google authenticator and CAPTCHA integration to add extra security for your login page.
  • File change detection for files ruined by malware.
  • Back up for .htaccess and wp-config files.
  • Bot blocking and spam protection.
  • Two-factor authentication.
  • Malware scanning.

Best WordPress security plugin for: Customers looking for a beginner-friendly solution.

Price: Free plugin with limited features. Premium plans start at $60/year.

All in One WP Security & Firewall

All in One WP Security & Firewall plugin offers bulletproof security for your website. You can get security similar to pro versions of other security plugins. Its intuitive interface makes this plugin easy to use.

All in One WP Security also displays visual data using graphs and meters, which suits beginners and new users.

Key Features

  • Malicious PHP code and SQL injection protection.
  • Secure data backups and database.
  • Comment spam protection.
  • Blacklist tool and brute force protection.
  • Bot blocking.

Best WordPress security plugin for: Customers looking for a free security plugin.

Price: Free.

Final Thoughts: 5 Best WordPress Security Plugins for Your New Website

Securing your WordPress website is a straightforward process if you have the right tools.

By choosing a plugin from the list, you can secure your WordPress website with just a few clicks. While no security plugin can make your website 100% safe, these plugins give you robust security against most of the WordPress threats you face every day.

Are you looking to move your business online? Use the Hostdedi StoreBuilder to build your ecommerce business on a secure web hosting platform.

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