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The 5 Best WordPress Form Plugins

The 5 Best WordPress Form Plugins

The 5 Best WordPress Form PluginsWhether you’re using them for lead collection, a means of contact, or registration pages, forms are an important part of your site. They help you manage leads and visitors more effectively, and – when done right – help to create incredible user experiences.

So, the question you should be asking is: What’s the best form plugin for WordPress? We’ve crawled through the list of over 9,000 plugins that appear when you type “form” into the WordPress plugin directory, to bring you 5 of the best.

You could just opt for the first one you see, but then you’ll probably miss out on some of the functionality and flexibility that come with alternatives. The plugins you’ll find below have been judged based on their effectiveness, user-friendliness, and ability to create a great looking form.

A powerful form plugin with a free version available for those who don’t need added features. Overall, a great form builder with a powerful interface, but the price starts to rise once you need access to its premium extensions.

Ninja Forms is a great form builder in its free version


One of the biggest advantages of Ninja Forms is that its free version is already incredibly well equipped to manage most form builds. Under the hood you’ll find integration capabilities, field control, and a translation service. Moreover, being free, you can download and install Ninja Forms on as many sites as you want.

If you’re looking for added functionality, Ninja Forms has established itself as a leading provider of form extensions. You can purchase modules for Salesforce integration, SMS notifications, and a campaign monitor.

Another advantage of Ninja Forms is its community. There to help and guide new users, it’s also comprised of a large number of devs who can help you to create custom functions easily.


Ninja Forms is a great plugin for versatility and, in general, is very easy to use. However, once you start working with action hooks and filters, the form builder can become very complicated.

Moreover, if you’re looking for specialist features such as Salesforce integration, you’re going to have to pay for it. But this is true with almost any form builder.


Another powerful form builder with some great functionality included for free. By far one of the most popular form plugins for WordPress, but also with additional fees if you require more.

WP forms makes building forms in wordpress simple


You would be forgiven for thinking that WP Forms is the official form building plugin for WordPress – the name, the quality, and its simplicity. But it’s not. It’s just a really easy to use and well made form builder.

The free version is powerful and will suit most user’s needs, with paid extensions available for those who want to do more. Once you’ve installed the plugin, you’ll find geolocation functionality, form abandonment, conditional logic rules, the ability to connect the form for user-submitted content, login and user registration, and more.

WP Forms also come with the Surveys and polls add-on. We’ve found this to be an incredibly powerful and versatile add-on that allows you to easily generate interactive surveys and generate real-time reports. Highly recommended.


The main idea behind WP Forms is that it’s user friendly. To do that, it sacrifices some of the more complex form building features you’ll find in the other options listed.

Moreover, as far as free versions go, WP Forms’ free offering is powerful but lacks some of the versatility you’ll find in competitors like Ninja Forms.


A form plugin designed to make creating forms as easy as possible with a drag and drop interface and some advanced functionality.

Everest forms makes WordPress Form Creation easier than ever before


This might just be the simplest form builder for WordPress.  Everest forms allows you to create forms by dragging and dropping the elements you want, where you want. This makes the form creation process easy. Inside the form builder, you’ll find support for multiple columns, spam protection, multiple email recipients, and a huge array of possible form fields.

Everest forms also allows you to insert forms into your pages and posts by using shortcode – making page creation a lot simpler.

Everest comes with several form design templates to choose from, so you don’t have to start from nothing. You can also view form entries directly from your dashboard, instead of having to open the plugin every time.


Its drag and drop functionality makes Everest one of our favorite form builders for beginners looking for simplicity. However, that simplicity comes with the sacrifice of flexibility. There are some features you won’t be able to implement with Everest that you would with some of the alternatives on this list. Great for small and medium sized sites, but maybe not the right tool for bigger ones.

Easy forms for Mailchimp is designed so you can add unlimited Mailchimp sign up forms to your website. The only problem is you’ll need a Mailchimp account to run it properly.

Easy forms is a great WordPress plugin for lead capture


Coming from Mailchimp, Easy Forms has a great pedigree. You can expect a premium and easy to manage experience, and a powerful toolset for list management. Moreover, with the ability to connect Easy Forms to you Mailchimp account, you’re able to better organize and coordinate your landing page and form experiences.

Easy Forms gives you easy form building functionality with the ability to use built-in CSS classes or add your own. It also allow for multiple fields, customizable success and error messages, and spam protection.

Easy Forms also allows for you to view all of your list statistics from your WordPress dashboard, a great feature for streamlining your list building efforts.


One of its biggest advantages is its biggest downfall. If you don’t have a Mailchimp account – or don’t want one – this is immediately not going to be the right plugin for you and your site.


The oldest and wisest of the contact form plugins. As the most downloaded contact form plugin in the WordPress plugin directory, Contact Form 7 holds a special place in the hearts of WordPress CMS builds everywhere. Unfortunately, it hasn’t kept up with the times and may be better served as a piece of nostalgia than a production site plugin.

Contact forms 7 isn't the best form plugin but it is popular


It’s free and you can install it on as many sites are you want. That means it’s perfect for use with dev sites where you don’t need to test the form capabilities (or don’t want to pay for your license to be extended).

That being said, there are several extensions available on the WordPress plugin market for you to expand functionality. For instance, you can easily add conditional fields with a free extension.


Unfortunately, that’s about where the pros stop. Contact Form 7 may be the grandad of form plugins, but age doesn’t always come with functionality. We are more likely to recommend the alternatives on this list if you’re looking for a powerful, production ready form builder.

What Is the Best WordPress Form Plugin?

If you’re looking for the best free form plugin for WordPress, then we highly recommend either WP Forms or Ninja forms. Both of these offer powerful free versions that provide great form building options. Contact Form 7 is also a good option, but doesn’t quite make it into the our top pick due to not having a great UI.

If you’re looking for something easy to use, then we would recommend Everest Forms. The UI is great and the drag and drop interface makes building any form simple.

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Cagematch: Drupal Vs WordPress

Cagematch: Drupal Vs WordPress

Drupal vs wordpressWhen it comes to designing a worthwhile website, the choice of content management system (CMS) may not be readily apparent. Complicating this choice are the almost-tribal sentiments of each system’s loyalists, each convinced of the “rightness” of their favorite. But both are open source, free to use, and provide a multitude of plug-ins and modules.  So which is the real winner of a Drupal vs WordPress standoff?

Drupal 8 just saw release, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Based on our experience, the go-to for nearly one-third of all websites is WordPress. It dominates 60% of the CMS market. Why deviate?

To find the answer, let’s toss Drupal 8 and WordPress into a cage and see who comes out on top!

Ease of Use

WordPress is known for its 5-minute install and for low barrier-to-entry. Many newbies cut their teeth on WordPress and end up with an adequate and reasonably fast, if not glamorous, website. As noted below, themes are plentiful and can easily turn a plain-Jane sight into something you’d be proud to show the public.

To get there with Drupal, you’ll need the skills of a developer. What Drupal lacks in simplicity, it makes up for in power and flexibility, but this is a deal-breaker for people that just want to publish a blog or make a small, functional website for their fledgling business.


WordPress is the Winner

Themes and Plug-ins

The awesome thing about WordPress is the sheer number of plug-ins and themes, and the relative ease of deploying them. Many are free, though not all are created equal, and paying for premium items can yield better support and overall product. For example, WooCommerce is free and gives limited eCommerce capabilities to WordPress, but expect to dip into your wallet if you want to add features or payment types.

For brevity, we’ll extend the definition of “plug-ins” to include what Drupal calls “modules.” Drupal has plenty of options for plug-ins and themes, though nowhere near as many as WordPress, and you’ll once again need the “D” word to properly make use of them.


WordPress is the Winner


WordPress doesn’t have a great reputation for security. Its popularity makes it an attractive target for prospective attackers, as does its status as an amateur-friendly CMS. Furthermore, while WordPress is quick to respond to security threats, the same cannot be said from many of the same plug-ins that make it so popular.  The more you add, the greater the threat becomes, as each plug-in serves as a possible vector for attack. Is it possible to maintain a secure WordPress site? Absolutely. It starts by choosing an experienced web host (*cough* we might know one *cough* *cough*), and finishes by you taking steps to stay current on each and every theme and plug-in on your site.

As long as you’re running Drupal 7 or later, you’re as safe as New York State, the Government of Australia,, Twitter, eBay, and NASA, all of whom use Drupal. This should not be interpreted to mean that Drupal sites are immune to security threats. Rather, the smaller number of poorly-coded plug-ins and themes, combined with the more developer-centric requirements, make it less vulnerable to Internet villany.


Drupal is the Winner


WordPress was born as a blogging platform. It tends to be best suited for websites presenting most of their information within articles, as opposed to albums of interconnected information. Time and the devoted efforts of the open source community have diversified it considerably, although you’ll need to rely on plug-ins to broaden its functionality.

Drupal can do anything. We advise against choosing it as your blogging platform, but if you have developer know-how or the resources to hire one, the potential is virtually limitless. Drupal is also innately mobile-friendly and has stronger core support for multilingual content. Finally. WordPress plug-ins themselves tend to be “plug-and-play” solutions, while Drupal plug-ins offer richer customization capabilities.


Drupal is the Winner

Access Control

WordPress was designed with simplicity in mind, allowing for easy and swift editorial collaboration among a handful of team members. This is great for blogging, but won’t offer enough granularity for any enterprise requiring a team with numerous roles and permissions. This can be extended with a plug-in, of course, but that’s another one to find, watch for vulnerabilities, possibly even pay for.

With a built-in access control system that allows fine-tuned control, Drupal is the clear winner here. You can create custom roles, set multiple levels of user permissions with different degrees of access, and grant multiple roles to a single user. Even if such granularity doesn’t appeal to you now, it gives you scalability if and when your team grows.


Drupal is the Winner


Both WordPress and Drupal have eager and knowledgeable online communities that love nothing better than to bring others into the fold. You’ll find no shortage of online tutorials and documentation for either platform.

That said, if you’re looking for developer support — optional for WordPress but practically mandatory for Drupal — you’ll pay more for the latter than the former. This is simple supply and demand, as WordPress developers vastly outnumber their Drupal brethren.


WordPress is the Winner

Drupal vs WordPress: Who’s the Winner?

We know, we know! We don’t like ties, either.

Looks like you’ll have to play judge and cast the deciding vote for who has earned the right to build your site. If it helps, we’re happy to help you host WordPress or Drupal, and we’ll keep any “tribal sentiments” to ourselves.



Ease of UseNot user-friendly to lay persons; developer assistance advisedGets the job done easily and quickly; easy to install
Themes and Plug-insNot as many, harder to installMany and easy to install
SecurityFavored by governments; user knowledge tends to make it more resilient to attackEach theme and plug-in is a potential vulnerability; popularity makes it a favorite target of attackers
FlexibilityBetter at anything other than blogging, provided you have dev skills; innate mobile and multilingual functionalityGreat for blogging; needs plug-ins for everything else; effective plug-ins can be costly
Access ControlInnate fine-tuned controlLimited without plug-ins
SupportHelpful community, but developers are more costly than their WordPress counterpartsHelpful community, developers are optional and less costly

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Keep Your Site Fast with Mod_PageSpeed, Now Available for Hostdedi Cloud

Keep Your Site Fast with Mod_PageSpeed, Now Available for Hostdedi Cloud

Keep Your Site Fast with Mod_PageSpeedSlow sites crush eCommerce. Your customers will rebound quickly and forget about your lumbering load times when they flee to your competition. The same can’t be said for your site. Even if you dropped time and money on a sleek interface, marketing, and captivating copy,  even a 2-second load time will send your customers for the hills and drive down your page ranking.

If you’re a developer, or have access to one, Mod_PageSpeed provides a relatively easy path toward addressing speed bumps before they drive away your business, not after.

Even better, if you’re a Hostdedi Cloud client, we can help you get Mod_PageSpeed up and running, or your developer can accomplish the same by modifying your htaccess file:

<IfModule pagespeed_module>

ModPagespeed on

ModPagespeedRewriteLevel CoreFilters


Slow websites wish they were as pretty as this gargantuan gastropod.

What is Mod_PageSpeed?

PageSpeed, or Mod_PageSpeed, is an open source plug-in for web servers using Apache or NGINX. Developed by Google as a counterpart of their PageSpeed Insights, which suggests ways to optimize your site, Mod_PageSpeed will automatically deploy many of these same optimizations.  

These optimizations span five categories, and generally look for ways to reduce file sizes and apply best practices without changing your content:

  • Stylesheets (CSS)
  • JavaScript (JS)
  • Images
  • HTML
  • Tracking activity filters

Each of these categories is divided into multiple filters, potentially giving you more direct control over the scope of optimization. For a detailed list of these filters, see the Google PageSpeed Wiki.

Not for Everyone

As you might guess, Mod_PageSpeed isn’t a good option for everyone. If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you may need another approach.

    1. Does your site use mostly dynamic content? Mod_PageSpeed optimizations have almost no effect on dynamic content, or content that adapts to how your site visitors behave. Sites that use static content — content that doesn’t change from visitor to visitor — will see far better results.
    2. Are you done making short-term changes to your site’s content? Each change you make diminishes the effect of Mod_PageSpeed optimizations. If you’re still making changes, the need to re-configure Mod_PageSpeed each time can bury your development team under additional work and complicate the process.
    3. Do you already have active website acceleration technology? If so, they tend not to play nice with Mod_PageSpeed, especially when both are optimizing your HTML. While it’s possible to disable HTML optimization in either Mod_PageSpeed or your alternate tech, any misstep will lead to HTML errors and an unpleasant experience for your visitors.  
    4. Do you have access to a developer? PageSpeed is open source, and so it takes some developer know-how to deploy and maintain properly. If you’re not planning upcoming changes to your site, this need is somewhat reduced — just remember any future changes will likely slow down your site without a developer’s assistance.
    5. If you aren’t running your own Apache or Nginx server, do you host with a company that gives you the tools required for installation of Mod_Pagespeed? If you’re running your own show, you have root access. See Point #4. We can’t speak for other companies, but if you’re a Hostdedi Cloud client, we’ll install it for you and even assist with basic configuration. Or, if you know a developer, they can do it themselves by modifying your .htaccess file.

If you’re not a Hostdedi client, but think Mod_PageSpeed might be a good fit, we once again recommend enlisting the services of a developer to both avoid potential pitfalls and get the most out of it.

If you are a Hostdedi Cloud client, or are just the curious sort, read on to learn a little about what even the default configuration of Mod_Pagespeed can accomplish.

“CoreFilters” for Mod_PageSpeed

For non-developers and for review, remember “filter” is just PageSpeed jargon for a subcategory of the five available categories for optimization: CSS, JS, Images, HTML, and tracking activity filters. If a filter is present, then Mod_PageSpeed is optimizing that element.

We use “CoreFilters” default mode because it is considered safe for use on most websites.

add_head – Adds a <head> tag to the document if not already present

combine_css – Combines multiple CSS elements into one

combine_javascript – Combines multiple script elements into one

convert_meta_tags – Adds a response header for each meta tag with an HTTP-equivalent attribute

extend_cache – Extends cache lifetime of CSS, JavaScript, and image resources that have not otherwise been optimized by signing URLs with a content hash.

fallback_rewrite_css_urls – Rewrites resources referenced in any CSS file that cannot otherwise be parsed and minified

flatten_css_imports – Sets CSS inline by flattening all @import rules

inline_css – Inlines small CSS files into the HTML document

inline_import_to_link – Inlines <style> tags with only CSS @imports by converting them to equivalent <link> tags

inline_javascript – Inlines small JS files into the HTML document

rewrite_css – Rewrites CSS files to remove excess whitespace and comments and, if enabled, rewrites or cache-extends images referenced in CSS files

rewrite_images – Optimizes images by re-encoding them, removing excess pixels, and inlining small images

rewrite_javascript – Rewrites JavaScript files to remove excess whitespace and comments

rewrite_style_attributes_with_url – Rewrite the CSS in-style attributes if it contains the text “url(“ by applying the configured rewrite_css filter to it

If you’re already using Hostdedi Cloud, contact our 24/7 support team to make inquiries or install it for you today!

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10 Reasons WordPress Is a Good Choice For SEO

10 Reasons WordPress Is a Good Choice For SEO

SEO and WordPressIs WordPress really a good choice for SEO? The short answer is yes.

As an application that powers over 32.5% of the internet (we’ve got stats), WordPress has to be optimized so search engines can easily find, index, and rank content. Many professionals even recommend WordPress for SEO purposes.

If you’re a site owner and on the fence about which CMS you should be managing your content in, keep reading for 10 reasons why WordPress will improve your search engine optimization strategy.


1.WordPress Makes Crawling Easy

Crawling is when a search engine combs the web for new content and indexes it for when people search. It does this by reading the code that a web page is based on. If the code is messy or hard to read, crawling can be a problem. If your site isn’t crawled properly, it’s almost impossible for it to begin ranking for the search terms you want.

WordPress sites are designed so the code looks standardized across all pages of a site, making it easy for Google’s spiders to find, index, and rank pages. You just have to put in your content.

2. Site Speed

While site speed itself isn’t a ranking factor, a slow site can lead to a decrease in conversions, a higher bounce rate, and other issues that can affect your search ranking. If you’re running a WordPress site and it’s running slowly, there is likely something wrong with how you’ve optimized your CMS or with your hosting infrastructure.

In general, WordPress sites are fast and lightweight because WordPress itself uses up limited resources. You can check your site speed by using lighthouse. If you find that your site is slower than it should be, it may be a good idea to check in with your hosting provider and see if they have any advise, or try optimizing your site for yourself.

3. Social Media Integration

In one report, 82% of agencies said that their social strategy was highly integrated with their SEO strategy. With Google’s modern focus on engagement and intent, this shouldn’t be surprising. Multiple studies have indicated that social media engagement leads to improved rankings. And the higher your ranking, the more you’re expected to engage with others.

Social media is also a great tool for analyzing and iterating on what works and with who. Built-in audience insight tools such as Facebook’s Audience Insights, make defining and discovering new audiences simple. Measuring engagement with your social content then makes finding the best and most relevant content even easier.  If you haven’t started getting active on social, then it’s probably about time you did.

Meta tags area incredibly easy in WordPress

4. Meta Data

Meta data is information that will not be shown on a page but is associated with it. Title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs are good examples of meta data. This information is actually coded into the page itself, so it can be delivered to search engines and crawlers. While not always a direct ranking factor, meta data does influence a number of other factors that can lead to a higher or lower rankings.

WordPress makes meta data simple, especially if you download and install a WordPress SEO plugin.

Permalink editing is a core functionality of WordPress and its SEO benefits

5. Permalinks

Permalinks are the URLs on your site. You can easily edit permalinks through your WordPress dashboard, giving them the format your want.

Permalinks can affect your rankings through the keywords that they contain. The click-through rate on them also has an influence. The less they are clicked, the lower they will be ranked. As permalinks are shown in Google search results, users may be put off by something that looks overly complicated or irrelevant, thereby leading to a lower click-through rate.

The ability to customize WordPress permalinks is an incredibly powerful feature, and one that can help a site in danger of being lost to low rankings get back on top.

UX is an indirect effector of SEO for WordPress

6. User Experience

Good user experiences can lead to sites that do exceptionally well. The opposite is true as well. A good user experience (UX) is more complicated than just making it easy to navigate a site; it means optimizing site speed, streamlining the buyer’s journey, and more.

And these factors do contribute to a site’s ranking. If on-page content is optimized around a searched-for keyword but the bounce rate is high, it’s a clear indicator that a site’s UX isn’t up to scratch. Similarly, if a site has a less than stellar time on page, there’s probably an issue with the page’s content or the experience a user has.

WordPress makes user experience a little easier with its pre-built themes. These generally follow web design best practices and make important elements of your site clear and easy to find. All you have to worry about is on-page content.

Spam comments are easily avoided in wordpress by default

7. Blockable Spam Comments

One of WordPress’ strengths is the ability for visitors to leave comments and communicate with one another. This functionality increases engagement, time on page, and can have a positive effect on reducing bounce rate. However, not all comments are positive. Enter the dreaded spam comment.

Spam comments can have a detrimental affect on SEO by including keywords and content that are irrelevant to a page’s keyword goals. A spam post that tries to promote baby shoes on a tech blog is not what you want.

WordPress makes preventing spam comments easy through a combination of three steps:

  1. Akismet – the WordPress stock comment checker for automatically removing and blocking spam.
  2. Cookies for Comments – Detects bots and stops them from posting spam in the comments section.
  3. “Nofollow” to links in the comments – By default, WordPress makes links in the comments section “Nofollow”, meaning you don’t have to worry about passing PageRank to negative sites.

8. Optimized for Mobile

Mobile is a big deal for site owners. In 2018, 61.2% of internet users accessed websites using a mobile device. Unsurprisingly, Google and other search engines have suggested that responsive design is a ranking factor, with numerous professionals having felt that it is one of the more important factors since 2015.

WordPress, if you’re running on the latest version and taking advantage of an up-to-date theme, is responsive out of the box. This means that instead of having to focus on design that includes mobile users, you’re able to focus on your content. WordPress will do the rest.

Image optimization in WordPress can be done with good plugins

9. SEO Optimized Images

How can an image be optimized for SEO? Easy, by being quick to load and including relevant “alternative text”.

WordPress makes alternative text easy by having a box dedicated to it in the image details screen. For optimized images, installing an image optimization plugin will help you to provide site visitors with images that are quick to load while also maintaining image quality.

plugins offer WordPress a huge amount of SEO optimizations

10. WordPress SEO Plugins

One of the reasons WordPress can be a good CMS for getting started with SEO is the collection of SEO plugins available to help content creators optimize their posts and pages. Plugins like Yoast and All In One SEO make adding meta data, keywords, and tags simple.

There are also a number of other useful WordPress plugins available that can help with SEO indirectly.

  • W3 Cache is a great plugin for optimizing site speed and improving user experience.
  • Nested Pages is great for optimizing your URL structure and making content easy to navigate.
  • Speed Booster Pack helps to increase your site’s speed quickly and easily.

Remember, too many plugins and your site can become too slow. If that happens, you’re more likely to end up losing rankings as opposed to gaining them.

Improving Your WordPress Strategy

If you came to this page wondering whether WordPress is bad for SEO, you now know that it’s not. In fact, between stock features, feature-filled plugins, and a huge number of content and UX possibilities, WordPress may be one of the best CMS applications if you want to focus on SEO.

That doesn’t mean that you should stop here though. There are a number of optimizations you can implement yourself to make your site rank number 1; from optimizing your site for conversions to employing a hosting foundation that helps you to deliver the performance visitors expect.

Wonder what hosting solution is best for you? See what other users have to say by reading 2019’s State of Hosting. Download it for free now.

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Trends That Defined the Industry

Trends That Defined the Industry

Introducing the State of Hosting 2019- Trends That Defined the Industry

In the nineteen years we’ve been in the hosting industry, we’ve seen a lot of different sites grow and prosper. Over the last few years, however, we’ve started to see a shift in the way that sites are doing so. New technology and infrastructure options, combined with industry changes to security and privacy, have seen development and hosting take on a whole new meaning.

Released today, the State of Hosting 2019 marks the first annual deep dive into the hosting solutions site owners and merchants are choosing, along with their hopes and concerns for the future. The aim of this report is to help make business owners aware of how hosting solutions are changing for the better, and how they can keep up. 

Below you’ll find a quick look at some of the most compelling takeaways from this year’s report. Alternatively, you can download the full report now.


Magento Continues to Dominate the eCommerce Market

eCommerce applications have long been in competition over top spot. Each offers its own experience with unique selling points that appeal to specific merchants. Coming into 2019, Magento continues to lead the charge, being the application of choice for 64% of hosting solutions and dominating over competitor WooCommerce.

There are several reasons for this, with one being the functionality and flexibility offered by Magento solutions. Magento also seems to line up with site owners’ top issue of development. However, a new competitor has entered the market in 2019 and with it a potentially new candidate for top eCommerce spot. Read the report to find out who and what it may mean for your eCommerce store.


PWA Is the Future

PWA took the world by storm in 2018, and it’s only going to continue to see an increase. We found that 67% of store owners plan to adopt PWA development in the future. The reasons are many, with development capabilities standing at top spot.

However, PWA development will likely lead to a number of organizational changes with regards to how websites and online properties are manages. Many agencies are still working on what this will look like, and trying to decide which clients will really benefit from PWA. Download the report to see what else merchants and developers have to say about PWA.


Uptime Remains a Primary Concern for Content Producers

Site outages and downtime can lead to huge losses in revenue. Just a 1-second delay in load time can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions. For content producers, that number can have a huge effect on conversion goals and is a very real threat to the success of a website.

Consequently, uptime remains a primary concern for content application owners. However, price is still the top value. This means that while site owners are looking for reliable hosting solutions, they are still aiming to keep the price down. However, finding the right balance between the two is integral, with many site owners claiming that their move to Hostdedi came after reliability concerns with cheaper providers.

A Significant Number of Websites Run On WordPress

Automattic place the number of sites that use WordPress as making up 32.5% of all websites globally. Internally, we have found that number to be closer to 24% across all solutions, and 67% across content solutions. That is still no small number.

Site owners choose WordPress due to its ease of use and the sheer amount of content it allows for owners to create and publish easily. Read the report to find out why WordPress was also 2018’s fastest adopter of cloud technology.

We invite you to learn more about hosting in 2018 and the decisions other merchants and site owners made throughout the year. Download the report now.

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What Is It and What Are the Advantages?

What Is It and What Are the Advantages?

Headless Drupal- What Is It and What Are the AdvantagesThis article looks at Headless Drupal, providing an overview of what it is, and what some of the pros and cons are to implementing it.

Traditional Drupal website have often been monolithic. This has meant that Drupal is responsible for both content management on the back-end and content rendering on the front-end.

Headless architecture changes this by implementing a decoupled approach to site design. For many, the new approach is seen as innovative and the future of web development. For others, headless architecture brings a worrying lack of clarity to development processes and business practices.

If you’re thinking about moving to a headless Drupal environment, then keep reading to find out what the pros, cons, and facts are.  

What is Headless Drupal?

Headless Drupal (also know as decoupled Drupal) is a new way to develop and deliver websites.

Traditional CMS website models use PHP rendering to deliver website content through a user’s browser.

Headless Drupal instead allows content to be delivered to users through a separate front-end application. This means that a Drupal instance does not decide on the styling for a website. Rather, a separate application decides how data from the Drupal instance is displayed. This allows for an added layer of functionality and customization. In the example below, that application runs on ReactJS.

Headless Drupal vs tradtitional CMS drupal Diagram

What this front-end application runs on is different depending on the developer.  We’ve displayed ReactJS above as it is currently one of the prefered technologies for headless implementations.

What Are the Benefits of Headless Drupal?

There are several reasons to adopt headless Drupal, the most common of which is because site owners and developers want to integrate technologies and designs that are otherwise incompatible with a standard Drupal installation.

This is especially true when a developer wants to implement multiple front-ends. There may be one desktop front-end, one mobile front-end, a widget front-end, and an app front-end. Each of these are able to render and display the same information in unique ways.

And when it comes to apps and widgets, headless also allows for offline access. Site contents can be downloaded and rendered quickly through the “application” front-end itself. This changes the typical web server / user connection relationship, and also means that content is delivered much more quickly, even when online.

Due the restructuring of the CMS / front-end relationship, security is also improved. It is easier for system administrators to limit access to areas of the infrastructure. Content is created and published through one system, and delivered to readers through another.

What Is Limiting Decoupled Drupal?

Fully decoupled Drupal has several advantages, but all new technologies come with downsides, and headless is no exception. One of the main disadvantages is that much of Drupal’s out-of-the-box functionality is lost instantly. The ability to preview content before it is published goes away without additional coding, as does control over styling through the editing interface.

From an application perspective, competition over which app is in charge of how and what content is displayed can also potentially become an issue. This especially true when you’re dealing with multiple front-ends.

A diagram Headless Drupal fontend vs backend

Which front-end delivers to mobile? Which delivers to desktop? Which delivers to an app? Managing this process can be complicated and requires additional work for it to be implemented properly.

From a business perspective, responsibilities take on a new meaning. Cooperation between web design and creation becomes more of a priority. Appropriate access also needs to be distributed to different teams, especially if there are multiple decoupled front-end interfaces present.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to understand the breadth of a move to headless and map out what the shift will look like from both a technology level, as well as a business one.

Headless Pros and Cons



Faster, more flexible content deliveryNew Implementation Procedures
Future-proof design for CMS/front-end updatesCan’t see live previews
Better securityRelies on multiple technologies
Easier 3rd party integrationsMore complex to to configure and deploy

Examples of Headless Drupal Projects

There are numerous examples of headless Drupal websites. A short list includes:

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon – Uses Node.js and Backbone.js

Lullabot – Uses Node.js and ReactJS – Uses Angular.js

The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon

The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon is an example of a headless Drupal site

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon makes use of a headless Drupal instance to great effect. The site loads quickly and you can see unique web design features and animations throughout the site.


Lullabot headless implemention came with routing problems

Lullabot also implemented a headless instance on their site. However, they encountered routing issues during the setup. Routing is where an application or CMS decides where to send a visitor’s requests. They go into more detail in their article on this, but it’s an important problem to keep in mind when thinking of making the move to a complex decoupled Drupal site.

Hostdedi and Headless Drupal

We are currently able to support headless Drupal instances on our cloud infrastructure. We also currently offer Node.js support. At this point in time we’re working to improve support for Node.js and other languages such as Python.

Don’t forget, if you’re going to spin up a headless Drupal site, we recommend testing on one of our dev sites. Learn how to spin up a Hostdedi dev site.

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WordPress Posts vs. Pages: What’s the Difference?

WordPress Posts vs. Pages: What’s the Difference?

WordPress pages vs postsPages and posts are what make WordPress such a versatile platform for content curation. Each offer unique advantages for both on-page and off-page elements, including design, functionality, aggregation, and SEO.

If you’re worried whether you’re using posts and pages correctly, keep reading. This article aims to look at the differences and provide a clear rationale for what content should go where.


What Is a WordPress Page?

A WordPress page is a static webpage. That’s a page that doesn’t change and isn’t part of an aggregated list. Some good examples of pages include your about page, policy pages, and any legal pages. The reason these work best as pages is that they are core pages that will not disappear from your site.

By default, pages are hierarchical. This means that some pages are given more importance than others. For example, the page at is seen as more important than the page at This allows for pages to be easily navigated by users and crawled by search engines.

For SEO, pages are perfectly suited to short tail keyword optimization. This means keywords with high competition and traffic volume.

What Is a WordPress Post?

A WordPress post is at the center of the CMS blogging functionality. If you’re using WordPress in order to blog, you’ll spend most of your time creating posts.

Posts are different from pages as they can be aggregated and curated in chronological order. This is done by content being archived based on the month and year it was created. Readers can then access the most recent content first. However, because of this older content is often harder to find.

One of the reasons posts are better for certain types of content is because they allow site owners to develop a community. Social sharing plugins allow for content to be shared on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and readers can leave comments and interact with one another.

Additionally, the editing experience is slightly different with posts. Down the right-hand side of a WordPress post, you’ll see several additional options that you won’t find on a page. This includes categories, tags, permalink, and excerpt. We’ll discuss these in more detail later.

WordPress Pages vs. Posts Summary



Best for core/navigational pagesBest for blog posts
Allows hierarchy structureAllows chronological ordering
Allows custom designAllows social sharing
Is a static pageAllows commenting
Not aggregated in RSS feedAggregated in RSS feed
Always easy to findCan be hard to find over time
Best for short tail SEO contentBest for long tail SEO content

The Features of WordPress Posts and Pages

Posts and pages have different functionalities available to them. The main differences are shown in the table below.




CommentsYes (but not shown)Yes
AuthorYes (but not shown)Yes
Publish DateYes (but not shown)Yes
Categories & TagsNoYes
Archive AbilityNoYes
Post FormatNoYes
RSS FeedNoYes
Static PagesYesNo
Custom OrderingYesNo
Custom URL StructureYesNo

When to Use WordPress Pages or Posts

Pages and posts were created because they work best with different types of content. To help you get a better idea of what types of content should go where, we’ve put together some common examples.

Social Content: Posts

WordPress posts should be your go to if you’re planning on sharing the content socially through platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You can install social sharing plugins to fully optimize your WordPress site for this. WP Social Sharing is a popular option for many site owners.

Business Updates/ Press Releases: Posts

If you’re looking to provide users with a quick update or information on new developments in your business or industry, opt for a post. Posts allow readers to see more recent content first, and as it ages it is automatically archived. Moreover, readers will be able to comment and discuss the developments on the same page.

Blog posts should be posts in wordpress and not pages

Blog Entries: Posts

If you’re a blogger looking to create lots of content around a specific niche, then you’re probably going to be working with Posts. Posts let you easily group content with tags so it can easily be sorted thematically. This works especially well for travel bloggers, who are likely to create a lot of content based on each of the places they visit.

Posts also allow readers to access the most recent articles quickly and make it easier sharing on social media.

Tutorials: Posts

If you’re creating tutorials then posts are a better option. Posts allow for tagging and categories so you can sort the content thematically. Custom navigation pages that show all content under a particular tag or category can also be created easily by doing this.

Posts are also optimized for sharing tutorials on social media and attracting a community. Each tutorial will quickly populate with user-generated questions and answers, as readers are able to post comments on the same page.

If you want to get really fancy, it’s possible to create a custom post type in WordPress that dispenses with post features that you don’t need. For example, you can remove dates so that tutorials no longer seem ‘dated’ after a few months.

Content That Requires a Unique Design: Pages

Whether you’re creating pages with the new Gutenberg editor, the classic WYSIWYG, or have decided to use a page builder plugin, some pages will need to look unique.

Pages are the best option as posts come with specific layout settings. This is great for creating thematic links across your site, but can be a hindrance when you want something a little different. Pages are easily customized through the editor and CSS.

An About Page should be a page and the editor will look like this

About: Pages

Your about page will always be there. It will probably change over time as you update your company information, but you’re unlikely to remove it. For this reason, a page is your best choice.

Homepage: Pages

If there is one page on your site that won’t disappear, it’s the homepage. For many visitors, it will be one of the first pages they visit, meaning a unique design can make all the difference between leaving instantly, or clicking through. In case you haven’t already guessed, your homepage should be a page, not a post.

Navigational Content: Pages

By navigational content, we mean locations where several different articles or posts are brought together with a series of links. A good example in the travel niche is destination pages. These pages provide information on a destination and then link out to several different articles that look at that destination in more detail.

For tutorials, this page may provide an introduction to the course, along with a general overview, and a list of the individual lessons. readers will then be able to use this page to navigate to the tutorial they are looking for.

Navigation pages are unlikely to disappear, even if the content itself will change. These pages are not optimized for social sharing, but users are much more likely to share individual articles than they are the overview.

How will wordPress posts and pages affect SEOWordPress Posts vs Pages SEO

WordPress posts and pages differ in the way that they present on-page content to search engines. This can affect a piece of content’s SEO. However, neither a page nor a post are necessarily more beneficial than the other. Rather, the type of content that you place into either is what will lead to its real SEO benefits.

Our advice above applies to choosing the right format for the right content. If you have difficulty deciding on what is best for a piece of content not mentioned above, the general rules are as follows:

  • Posts are best for content that will be (somewhat) regularly updated or changed.
  • Posts are best for content that you want to share socially and allow commenting on.
  • Pages are best for content that will remain (for the most part) the same.
  • Pages are best for content where you want to target SEO short tail keywords.

Is There a limit on How Many Posts or Pages Can Be Created?

Nope. You can create as many posts or pages as you want with WordPress. The only limiting factor is your hosting storage. See our cloud solutions for examples of different hosting storage allowances.


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How to Investigate Disk Space Usage From the Command Line

How to Investigate Disk Space Usage From the Command Line

How to Investigate Disk Space Usage From the Command LineEach of our plans establishes a disk-usage limit. If you receive an email with an alert that says you’re nearing this limit, ignoring it can hamper the operability of your website and other associated services, such as email.

Before you call our Sales team to ask about an upgrade, it’s almost always worthwhile to investigate the cause of this usage. Common unknown sources of data are large log files, old backups, full size media, or email. The most efficient way to determine the exact cause involves the command line.

If you have little-to-none experience with the command line, start with the ncdu command. If you’re no stranger to the command line, find and du may be of more interest to you. In addition to finding problem files, they can give you a better understanding of your site’s file structure and operation.


The ncdu command can quickly locate the source of high disk usage with minimal command line experience. This command provides a numerical output, as well as a visual indicator of the most space-hungry files.

Run the command ncdu, then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate. The up and down keys go through the list vertically. The right arrow goes deeper into directories, and the left key withdraws from directories.

The following shows some example output:

 ncdu 1.12 ~ Use the arrow keys to navigate, press ? for help
--- /chroot/home/examplec/ ---------------------
501.6 MiB [##########] /vendor
228.0 MiB [#### ] /var
76.6 MiB [# ] /dev
27.3 MiB [ ] /lib
21.2 MiB [ ] /update
12.9 MiB [ ] /setup
5.6 MiB [ ] /generated
660.0 KiB [ ] composer.lock
428.0 KiB [ ]
316.0 KiB [ ] /pub
196.0 KiB [ ] /app
40.0 KiB [ ] /.github
16.0 KiB [ ] /phpserver
12.0 KiB [ ] .htaccess.sample
12.0 KiB [ ] .htaccess
12.0 KiB [ ] LICENSE_AFL.txt
12.0 KiB [ ] LICENSE.txt
12.0 KiB [ ] /bin
8.0 KiB [ ] index.html
8.0 KiB [ ] nginx.conf.sample
e 4.0 KiB [ ] /cgi-bin
4.0 KiB [ ] Gruntfile.js.sample
4.0 KiB [ ] composer.json
4.0 KiB [ ] .travis.yml
4.0 KiB [ ] .php_cs.dist
4.0 KiB [ ] .gitignore
4.0 KiB [ ] package.json.sample
4.0 KiB [ ] index.php
4.0 KiB [ ] robots.txt
4.0 KiB [ ] php.ini.sample
4.0 KiB [ ] COPYING.txt
4.0 KiB [ ] auth.json.sample
4.0 KiB [ ] .user.ini
4.0 KiB [ ] grunt-config.json.sample
4.0 KiB [ ] magento_umask
Total disk usage: 875.0 MiB Apparent size: 710.2 MiB Items: 92561

find and du

The find command can help locate files using a large amount of disk space, and you can even designate the size of files to locate.

The below command searches for any file that is larger than 10 megabytes (MB) in your working directory or lower.

find -type f -size +10M

The type -f  command looks only for files, and the -size +10M command looks for anything larger than 10 MB.

When executed, the output looks something like:

$ find -type f -size +10M

You can refine the find command further by combining it with the du command, which will show the size of the files.

$ find -type f -size +50M -exec du -h {} ;
107M ./html/var/log/system.log
111M ./html/var/backups/1546966441_filesystem_code.tgz
118M ./iworx-backup/

In the above example, the -exec command executes a command on the files found by find command. In this case, it’s the du command with the -h flag, which provides output in a human-readable format. The {} orders the command to run on the found files, and the ; indicates there are no further arguments.

The du command can also be used independently to list the size of files and folders, providing output like:

du -sch *
196K app
4.0K auth.json.sample
12K bin
4.0K cgi-bin
4.0K composer.json
660K composer.lock
4.0K COPYING.txt
77M dev
5.7M generated
4.0K grunt-config.json.sample
4.0K Gruntfile.js.sample
8.0K index.html
4.0K index.php
28M lib
4.0K magento_umask
8.0K nginx.conf.sample
4.0K package.json.sample
4.0K php.ini.sample
16K phpserver
316K pub
4.0K robots.txt
13M setup
22M update
228M var
502M vendor
875M total

You have several good options for arguments. The -s argument gives the total usage of a directory and its contents, the -c argument provides a grand total of all of the contents on the last line, and the -h argument outputs the contents in a human-readable form.

For more examples of du output, see our blog article, Sorting the Output of du.

About the Author

Christopher Jarvis

Christopher Jarvis has been assisting our clients for nearly 7 years as a member of our support staff.





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Guide to Getting Honest Feedback from Your eCommerce Customers

Guide to Getting Honest Feedback from Your eCommerce Customers

Your eCommerce business needs feedback almost as much as it needs sales.

According to a UPS study, 55% of online shoppers will share a dissatisfying experience with friends and family while eCommerce Digest reports that free returns earned Zappos 75% more customer loyalty and repeat purchases compared to competitors.

Honest feedback, when received promptly and acted upon, can help discover such customer insights, helping avert abandoned carts, customer churn, and negative reviews and ratings.

But how do you collect honest feedback from your eCommerce customers? How do you gather actionable insights that help you improve your business and make your customers happier?

In this guide, we look at four broad areas you can focus on to help you get honest feedback from your eCommerce customers.

Build Relationships

Strong relationships are a big incentive for honest feedback. The nature of eCommerce, however, makes building relationships difficult.

Various factors such as automation, drop-shipping, third-party vendors and others conspire to make it difficult to cultivate strong relationships with customers.

However, if you want more customers to give you honest feedback, you’ll need to make extra effort to cultivate relationships. Here are some ways you can do this:


  • Community building: Whether a forum or a Facebook group, building a community around your eCommerce business can create a source of high-quality, honest feedback. Companies like Google and Microsoft have built thriving communities around products where customers post feedback in the form of questions, suggestions, inquiries and so on.
  • Start or join a cause — If your customers see you stand for something they believe in, they will rally around your business, and be more willing to give you honest feedback.
  • Humanize your brand — Does your eCommerce business have a human touch? When your customers think about your brand, do they see a brand that cares, has empathy and can connect with people? Humanizing your brand can help you build strong relationships that result in better and more honest feedback.
  • Run interactive promotions — “Send in a selfie and stand to win a gift card.” Such promotions loop in customers to engage with your business, creating deeper relationships.

Use Personal Channels to Communicate

Communicating with customers effectively is an essential part of convincing them to send you honest feedback.

And no, just putting a contact form or a feedback widget will not do. To catch your customers’ attention, consider being more intentional in how you reach out to them for feedback.

Try these four approaches as a start:

Phone Calls

There’s nothing quite as personal as a phone call. Whether you run a small boutique, eCommerce shop or a massive eCommerce operation, the value of speaking directly with customers over the phone cannot be understated.

By calling them up, you show you care enough to take the time to call and, in most cases, customers will be willing to share honest feedback.


Blasting off a generic email with no personalization is a sure way to get no feedback. Instead, personalize your email, segment the audience, and ask customers to reply directly to the email instead of sending them to a feedback form.

When people feel like their feedback email will be read and replied to, they are more willing to share honest feedback.

Review Sites

Amazon, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Foursquare and others are all places people leave honest feedback. The sense that their feedback will help others drives many eCommerce customers to leave detailed, honest feedback on such sites.

To encourage this, add links to such sites and encourage your customers to leave feedback.

Social Media

When your customers have a great or less-than-great experience, they will most likely post their sentiments on social media.

Encouraging your customers to share reviews and feedback via social channels like Twitter and Facebook allows them to use channels they feel safe using to share feedback with you. A win-win scenario.

Respond to Both Good and Critical Feedback


Good Feedback

Responding to good feedback is easy, yet you would be surprised at how few eCommerce businesses do so. When you take good feedback for granted, you communicate to your customers that you are not that interested in their feedback.

However, communicating appreciation, not just for the positive feedback, but also for the act of leaving feedback, encourages customers to leave further feedback in the future.

Critical Feedback

Most eCommerce businesses see negative feedback as fires to fight. By assuming a fire-fighting stance, they miss a golden opportunity to validate and encourage more instances of such honest feedback.

Instead of looking at negative feedback as a problem to fix (yes, it may very well be a problem to fix,) also see it as an opportunity to encourage and continue honest dialogue with valued customers.

Utilize Customer Data


Sometimes customers give you honest feedback through their actions — they vote with their (digital) feet. In such instances, you can get honest, unbiased feedback by capturing and analyzing customer data (be aware of data collection laws like GDPR.)

Here are four of the top metrics you should measure to get valuable and honest passive feedback from customers and site visitors:

Cart Abandonment

How many customers add items to the cart and then abandon it? Do they return? What is the average value of an abandoned cart?

Understanding this metric will offer you valuable feedback and insights into customer behavior and how you can adapt accordingly.

Average Session Duration

How long do visitors spend on your website? How much time is spent on which sections of your site? How does this relate to purchases?

For example, long sessions that result in no purchases may indicate a lack of clarity or some other hindrance to purchasing.

Exit Pages

Do visitors exit your site at the shipping calculator page? Your shipping rate may be too high or unclear.

Do they exit at certain product pages? The prices may be too high or the value proposition poorly communicated.

Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate could give you feedback that your site is not relevant or useful to most people who visit it.

Such feedback could lead to a website redesign or further investigation into the high bounce rate.  

In Conclusion

Getting honest feedback from your eCommerce customers will not always be straightforward. It will also be difficult to determine which feedback is honest and which is not. However, this does not mean that the quest for honest feedback is futile.

It means, instead, that getting honest feedback will be a major achievement and competitive edge that you get over your competition. It also means that you’ll be tapping into your customers’ emotions, the most important factor at the heart of every purchasing decision they make.

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Your Enterprise WordPress Site Should Be In The Cloud

Your Enterprise WordPress Site Should Be In The Cloud

Enterprise organizations choose WordPress for their primary website and for secondary sites more often than any other content management system. As we reported last year, WordPress is neck-and-neck with Adobe Experience Manager for primary sites, and the clear leader for other types of sites, including marketing sites, eCommerce stores, and internal sites.

For many enterprise companies, the right CMS is obvious; choosing a hosting platform isn’t quite so straightforward. Large companies with high-traffic WordPress sites can choose between many different hosting options, but, for most, a public cloud platform specialized for WordPress is the most reliable, most scalable, and best performing hosting available.

What do enterprise organizations want from WordPress hosting? Reliability tops the list; downtime can cost millions in lost revenue. Security is also key; data leaks and malware infections cause colossal embarrassment. Scalability is just as important; large businesses need to know that their site can grow quickly, both over the long-term and to accommodate short-term traffic spikes.


Reliability is largely a function of redundancy. A single point of failure will fail eventually, whether it’s a server, a network connection, or a power supply. Cloud platforms are not inherently redundant, but the best are engineered with redundancy at the core. A cloud platform like the Hostdedi Cloud is designed for comprehensive redundancy at the level of the network, power system, and server. No other hosting modality offers the same rock-solid redundancy.


Enterprise WordPress and WooCommerce sites are juicy targets for criminals. Rich with data and users, sites owned by large businesses are targeted multiple times a day. A managed WordPress cloud platform is almost certainly more secure than alternative hosting options. The Hostdedi Cloud was built and is managed by experts in cloud technology and WordPress. Hostdedi Cloud accounts are equipped with a complete SSL Stack, Forward Secrecy, and are hosted in a PCI Compliant environment. They also benefit from a Web Application Firewall that can repel most common attacks against web applications.


Scalability is the cloud’s killer feature. The Hostdedi Cloud is built on a large pool of compute and storage resources. Each WordPress site is allocated a slice of that pool. The size of that slice can be adjusted on the fly. Sites can be scaled rapidly without migration. The site’s hosting platform will grow organically as traffic increases over time. But it can also scale quickly in response to traffic peaks. With, cloud autoscaling, WordPress sites experiencing higher than normal loads will automatically receive additional resources.

Managed cloud WordPress hosting platforms offer the ideal mix of scalability, security, and reliability for enterprise WordPress sites. The Hostdedi Cloud combines those benefits with comprehensive performance optimization for the ultimate in enterprise WordPress hosting.

To learn more about WordPress cloud hosting and the benefits, challenges, and strategies of cloud migration, download our free ebook, A Complete Guide to Migrating Your Site to the Cloud.

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