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Learn How to Use WordPress

Why WordPress?

WordPress is user friendly, customizable, and powers 40% of the internet. With thousands of plugins available to extend functionality, it’s easy to see why so many use WordPress for their sites.

If you’re looking to learn how to use WordPress, you’re in the right place. Here, you’ll find out most useful WordPress resources. Keep reading to learn WordPress basics, performance best practices, and more.

Learn How to Use WordPress: Understand Your Options

There are a number of CMS options available. As mentioned, WordPress is the most popular choice. If you’re not sure WordPress is the right CMS for you, learn about Drupal vs. WordPress.

WordPress history extends back to 2003. As you can imagine, there are many WordPress versions available. But it is important to start using the most recent one.

There’s also headless WordPress to consider. This option is gaining popularity and aims to accelerate page load time. What is headless WordPress?

WordPress does not limit you to a certain type of site. You can create a blog, an ecommerce site, a portfolio, and more. Learn about the types of WordPress websites you can easily set up. You can even monetize your WordPress site.

WordPress Hosting

With WordPress, you’ll also want an optimized host to power your site in the background. But you have a few different options when it comes to hosting, such as managed WordPress hosting and shared web hosting.

What is WordPress hosting? And why do you need hosting for WordPress? Here’s a breakdown of the difference between WordPress hosting and web hosting.

There’s also WordPress cPanel versus Managed WordPress and DIY to consider.

You may already have a shared hosting plan for your WordPress account. But shared hosting plans can leave much to be desired. Here’s how to tell when it’s time to leave shared hosting and upgrade to Managed WordPress.

Top 10 Questions to Ask a Cloud Hosting Provider >>

Getting Started With WordPress

Now it’s time to get started with your WordPress site. You’ll want to research your options and select one of the fastest WordPress themes. Speed is critical to providing a good user experience. It’s also key to ranking on Google.

Get started building your site with WordPress Gutenberg — a WordPress editor that makes site creation simple and easy. By using Gutenberg, you can simplify the content creation process in WordPress.

From there, you can…

Learn How to Use WordPress Plugins

There are thousands of WordPress plugins available for your site. Not sure where to start? Start by exploring the most popular WordPress plugins. These ones are fan favorites and are widespread for a reason.

Learn more about the top WordPress plugins and how to use them strategically in our Essential Guide to WordPress Plugins eBook.

There are plugins for just about every function you could want on your website. For example, you could add WooCommerce to WordPress to start an online store.

Below you’ll find out recommendations for the top WordPress plugins for popular functions.

Remember, it’s important to keep all of your plugins updated. Managed WordPress hosts like Hostdedi automatically update your plugins.

Explore Fully Managed WordPress Hosting by Hostdedi.

Learn WordPress Performance Best Practices

Why is my WordPress site so slow?

Many site owners ask this question after getting their site up and running. But once your site is up, you need to keep it optimized. Here’s why website performance matters:

  • It is critical to the user experience.
  • It is necessary to rank well on Google.
  • It provides more visibility and organic traffic.
  • It improves your conversion rates.

Here are some helpful WordPress resources to improve performance.

Learn more in our Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Performance Optimization eBook >>

WordPress Resources for Developers

Learn about the built-in features of WordPress for developers, and how to best use them for your site.

Using WordPress Local Dev Environments

You can use a WordPress local development environment, and you have a few options outlined below. A local dev environment allows you to set up a server environment on your own machine, rather than on the server environment from your hosting company.

The benefit here is that you can go into the local dev environment to customize your site and make any changes you need, without having to push it online until you are ready.

Get Scalable, Secure WordPress With Hostdedi

With Hostdedi, better is built in.

Power your site with optimized WordPress hosting from Hostdedi. Hostdedi provides fully-managed WordPress hosting that includes:

  • Automatic updates.
  • SSL for security.
  • Built-in CDN.
  • Image compression.
  • Caching.
  • And more.

With Hostdedi, your site is optimized, secure, and fast. Contact us today to learn how Hostdedi can take on-site performance tuning for you automatically.

Or, give it a try for free. Start your two-week trial of fully managed WordPress today.

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Adding Unit Tests to an Existing WordPress Plugin

So far we’ve done little more than introduce you to the idea of building tests for your WordPress plugins and talk about a bunch of the extra terms you need to understand to dive deeper into testing your code. Today we’re going to make it practical by grabbing one of my free plugins and adding a few unit tests to show you how to put it together. 

You can find the plugin on Github or Just like my previous post, I assume that you have WP CLI installed and can set up basic tests. If you can’t check out my post introducing you to unit testing in WordPress.

Unlike the last time, we only need to scaffold the tests so we can start with the following command in our WordPress installation.

wp scaffold plugin-tests wptt-ics-feeds

Now let’s get into writing a few tests.

The first thing I want to test is to make sure that the links a user sees in their profile with calendar feeds are correct. Specifically, we’re going to look at the get_subscribe_link function.

You can see the completed tests for this section here.

Let’s start by copying the default sample test file and renaming it to test-feed-links.php. I always like to create different files for the areas of the plugins I’m writing tests for, even if that means I have lots of files to deal with. It’s far easier to stay organized with clearly labelled files.

This plugin is a bit older and instantiates a global variable as it starts up. This allows us to call that global when in our setUp function so that we have access to the plugin code. We’ll also need to use the WordPress Factory to set up a new user so that we can test the links provided with that user. That means our setUp and tearDown functions should look like this.

public function setUp(){


    // getting the plugin global

    $this->plugin = $GLOBALS['wptt_ics_feeds'];

    // make a fake user

    $this->editor = new WP_User( $this->factory->user->create( array( 'role' => 'editor' ) ) );


public function tearDown(){


        wp_delete_user( $this->editor->ID, true );


Now we can get to writing a test for our feed links. We’ll write two different tests to test both situations that the link function can find itself in. First, we’ll test get_subscribe_link() without any arguments.


     * Tests base feed link without author


    public function test_base_feed_link(){

        $feed_link = $this->plugin->get_subscribe_link();

        $complete_link = site_url() . '/?feed=wptticsfeeds';

        $this->assertEquals( $feed_link, $complete_link, 'The feed links are not equal' );


The first thing the code above does is access our plugin instance as defined in the setUp function and call the get_subscribe_link() function. Next, I hard code the expected output of the function so that I have something to compare against. Finally, we use assertEquals to compare the two values.

With that done I can head back over to terminal and run the tests with the phpunit command. If my tests pass I’ll see something like the output below. If they don’t pass then I’ll get a big red warning instead of a green bar, which means I need to figure out why they aren’t passing and fix the tests.

In this case, our tests passed and we can move on to testing the output of our link function if we pass in an author name. You can see this test below.


     * Tests feed link with author


     public function test_author_feed_link(){

        $feed_link = $this->plugin->get_subscribe_link( array( 'author' => $this->editor->ID ) );

        $complete_link = esc_url( site_url() . '/?feed=wptticsfeeds&wpttauthor=". $this->editor->user_login );

        $this->assertEquals( $feed_link, $complete_link, "The feed links with author are not equal' );


Here we do almost the same thing as we did when we tested our link previously. The change is that we pass in the user we created with our setUp function and then test to make sure that this link comes out as expected with assertEquals.

Now, let’s move on to testing the custom filter inside the plugin.

Testing a WordPress Filter with PHPUnit

I’ve had some disputes with other developers about testing filters in the past. Some don’t bother testing their internal plugin filters, but I think that you should be testing these filters. Sometimes filter names change and you forget about this so don’t document it anywhere or check for usage of the filter. Writing a simple test for your filter will highlight this because when you change the filter name a test error will happen.

For this test, we’ll add a new file to our tests folder called test-filters.php. I’ll use this file to test all future filters that need to be tested in the plugin. This time our setUp function only needs to instantiate an instance of our plugin and our tearDown function doesn’t need to do anything. See the code below.

   public function setUp(){


        // getting the plugin global

        $this->plugin = $GLOBALS['wptt_ics_feeds'];


    public function tearDown(){



Next, we need to write the test for our filter which you can see below.


     * Tests that the post where time can be changed with a filter


    public function test_posts_where_filter(){

        add_filter( 'wptt_ics_feeds_how_old', array( $this, 'new_where' ), 10, 2 );

         $output = $this->plugin->two_months( '' );

         $date = date('Y-m-d', strtotime( $this->new_where() ) );

         $this->assertStringContainsString( $date, $output, 'The date filter did not work' );


    public function new_where(){

        return '-1 week';


The first thing we do is call our filter and then pass it our new_where function. I always like to write a separate function for filter tests because I have ended up using them in multiple tests enough that I feel this saves work later. Our new_where function will pass the string -1 week to our filter.

Next we call our two_months() function inside the plugin. Then we use a standard PHP date function to get the format we expect for the date. Since I’m mostly concerned that the date is parsed properly in the plugin I use assertStringContainsString to check to see if the output of the two_months function contains the same date string as the $date variable.

Again, if your tests pass, then it should all be green. If they fail you’ll get a big red warning instead of the pleasant green bar.

Why Don’t We Test the ICS Feed Output

Note, that I didn’t test the final output of our ICS feed. While this is possible, it’s got a bunch of moving parts that could fail and have nothing to do with my code. I could send the ICS feed to an online validator and then receive the JSON response and parse it to check if it’s valid.

If the HTTP request fails, my test fails. If the online validation service shuts down, my test fails. There are a bunch of other scenarios that could also cause my test to fail for no reason that’s my fault. Because of this, I chose not to test the final feed programmatically and figured that I could test it by subscribing to a feed in my calendar and seeing that my posts were in fact on the calendar as expected.

This Isn’t Unit Testing

I’m sure that some of you are looking at this and saying that I’m not writing unit tests, and you’d be correct. I’m writing integration tests because my code is integrating with WordPress for the tests to work. Yes, you can use WP_Mock to fake WordPress to write true unit tests, but most of the time I care that my code works with WordPress.

Today, we looked at adding a few tests to an existing WordPress plugin as a practical example of how testing can work for your projects. To continue learning, check out the business case for adding testing to your process as a business owner. It can be hard to see past the upfront expense since development will take longer, but it does pay off.

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The Top 5 SEO Plugins for WordPress Compared

Whether your WordPress website is a personal blog, ecommerce store, or hosting website, choosing the right SEO plugin shouldn’t be ignored. In this post, we’re comparing the top SEO plugins for WordPress, so you can learn how to best optimize your site for search engines. Doing this the right way will improve your search visibility, page and post ranking, boost your traffic, and improve your sales. 

You may have heard about the Yoast SEO plugin by now which is currently the most popular All-In-One SEO tool for WordPress.

But, did you know that there are also other well viable options on the market as well? SEO Optimization tool Rank Math has built a huge and successful community in a short period.

This proves that while you are building your fantastic website with quality content, ready for visitors to consume, you don’t have to think about things such as; will anyone see my content or if my website is good enough.

With so many great solutions out there, driving the website traffic has never been this easy.

In this article you will learn the following:

  1. What are SEO Plugins for WordPress
  2. SEO tips everyone should use
  3. 6 Best SEO Plugins compared

Let’s get started!

What are SEO Plugins for WordPress

The great thing about SEO plugins is that even if you are not SEO-savvy, you can still take advantage of the latest SEO tweaks. They provide a great all-in-one solution for the end-user.

All you have to do is choose the Plugins option on your WordPress Dashboard, click “Add New”, type the name of the plugin in the search bar, Install, and Activate.

Most of these SEO Tools come either with a free version and optional premium version as well. Just keep in mind that none of these tools is a perfect “do-it-all” option. 

There are a lot of other things to consider when it comes to search engine optimization such as keyword research.

This brings us to the next chapter.

SEO Tips You Should Consider

Even though all-in-one SEO tools are great, there are other important things you have to do as well.

If ranking high on Google and other search engines was easy as walking, everyone in the world would have a successful website and do this.

Since that is not the reality, and the majority of published posts don’t get any traffic, here are some useful SEO tips that we recommend.


This is the most important step to take. There are many great free and paid tools that will ease your keyword pursuits such as Ahrefs and Ubersuggest.

Once you have found a niche with relatively low competition you are ready to go. Oh and don’t forget to export as many keywords as you can for future use.


You have published a few posts and pages, so what do you do next? Share all your post on all major social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest.

Join all major groups, follow the biggest profiles, and don’t forget to take part in discussions as often as possible.

To rank your page on the first page of search engines, you shouldn’t forget to build links from other websites and use internal links.

Since links are an important ranking factor and each acquired backlink is viewed differently by Google, do not sleep on this.

Now, let’s see which plugins made our top list.

Our Top 5 favorite SEO Plugins for WordPress

1. Yoast SEO

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PRICING: Free/Premium(from $104.50)
WP SCORE: 4.9 out of 5


  • Keyword optimization
  • Readability check
  • Redirect feature
  • Google Search Console integration
  • Automatic creation of XML sitemap
  • Excluding the “noindex” types of content from being indexed in search engine results
  • Title and meta description templates
  • Duplicate content detection
  • Regular updates
  • Open Graph data for sharing posts on social media

Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO tool for WordPress, and for a reason. It has over 5 million active installations and over 25.000 five star user reviews.

It comes as a free and premium version. While the premium option comes with extra things like redirect manager, internal link suggestions and block, content insights. The free option is great as well.

It is the complete SEO tool that helps websites to rank higher in search engines, and the Yoast team provides regular support on forums(Premium Users).

Anyone new or old to WordPress should at least give the free Yoast version a try.

2. Rank Math

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PRICING: Free/Premium(coming in Fall 2020)
WP SCORE: 4.9 out of 5


  • Easy to follow Setup Wizard
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Google Webmaster Central Integration(In progress)
  • Keyword Comparison & Google Trends Tool(TBA)
  • Google Crawl Errors
  • Contextual Help (tooltips, notices, help tabs, etc)
  • Image SEO
  • Schema rich snippets and article schema
  • News Sitemap for Submitting Websites on Google News(TBA)
  • Ping Search Engines
  • Manage meta tags such as noindex, noarchive and such

Rank Math is the new player in the SEO website optimization game and the fastest-growing as well. Some would argue that it’s also the most powerful.

This fantastic tool lets you optimize your website for search engines and social media. Unlike Yoast, Rank Math is still a free tool packed with premium options which otherwise, you would have to pay for.

The premium version is gonna be released very soon with more features that are announced on their official Facebook page. If you are still doubting whether you should switch from Yoast to Rank Math, don’t worry, you can do this easily by the 1-click migration wizard which comes integrated by default.

3. All-In-One SEO Pack

PRICING: Free/Premium(from $57)
WP SCORE: 4.7 out of 5


  • XML Sitemap support 
  • RSS Sitemap
  • Google AMP support
  • Google Analytics support
  • Markup
  • Support for SEO on Custom Post Types
  • ONLY free plugin to provide SEO Integration for e-Commerce sites, including WooCommerce
  • Nonce Security built into All in One SEO Pack
  • Generates META tags automatically
  • Built-in API so other plugins/themes can access and extend its functionality

If you don’t want to use Yoast or Rank Math, consider the All-in-One SEO Pack as your third option. As with the before-mentioned plugins, it also does the same thing, and it has a clean and user-friendly interface.

It offers a wide range of features, both free and paid tools to which help your website. One of the neat features this plugin offers is that you can use it to edit .htaccess file without FTP and edit your robots.txt file which is suited even for complete beginners.

As with Yoast and Rank Math, it also supports AMP (Google-friendly mobile version of your website). You can also optimize the WooCommerce store for SEO, and it’s packed with additional addons as well.

Clean, simple, and more affordable than Yoast. 

4. SEOPress

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PRICING: Free/Premium for $39
WP SCORE: 4.9 out of 5


  • Redirections and 404 monitoring
  • Google Analytics stats in your WordPress dashboard
  • Video XML Sitemap
  • Titles & metas
  • XML sitemap
  • HTML sitemap
  • Backlinks from integration with Majestic
  • Keyword suggestions for your content via Google’s Suggestion tool
  • Google Structured Data Types: product, recipe, review, FAQ, course, article, event, local business, and video
  • Google Page Speed integration

SEOPress is a popular, fast, and simple SEO friendly plugin tool for website optimization. This is all thanks to its affordable price, clean interface that comes with a comprehensive set of features.

As with other SEO plugin tools in this list, expect to find open graph support, image, and content, XML sitemaps, meta title, and description features integrated within the plugin.

This means that you don’t have to slow down your website with other plugins that do one specific thing since SEOPress provides that in one affordable package. 

What differentiates this plugin from others in its price range is a unique feature of discovering new keywords via Google’s Suggestion tool.

5. SEO Framework

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PRICING: Free/Premium(from $7)
WP SCORE: 4.9 out of 5


  • Duplicated content protection
  • XML Sitemap(Basic & Google News)
  • SEO Management for Robots direction, 301 redirects, and Canonical URLs
  • SMO manage­ment for Open Graph, oEmbed, RSS manage­ment
  • Includes structured data for breadcrumbs, corporate contact, blog posts, site links, search box
  • Automation for the title, robots, Facebook tags, Twitter card, and structured data generation
  • Google Search Console integration 
  • Bing webmasters tools 
  • Pinterest Analytics
  • Google AMP

SEO Framework is the only plugin on the list which claims to be a white hat SEO tool and it’s a great alternative to Yoast and Rank Math.

More lightweight than others and can intelligently generate critical SEO meta tags. This is achieved by reading a user’s WordPress environment in any language.

Design vise, the plugin is clean, simple, and looks like a part of WordPress. What it offers differently than others in the game is a colorful scale that shows you exactly what should you do next.

You can start with SEO Framework for free without any obstructive ads harassing you while you work. I would single out two fantastic features of this plugin and those are:

  • Uses a focus subject instead of a focus keyword, encouraging you to write more naturally 
  • Without any additional plugin, SEO Framework removes spam comments

Side-by-Side Comparison

Let’s do a quick rundown of all five Seo Plugins, compare their features, and see how they stack against each other. 

While Rank Math is completely free and has clear advantages against other plugins, keep in mind that a premium version is coming out in the coming months.

Yoast Rank Math All-In-One SEO Pack  SEOPress SEO Framework
Free Version Available Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Annual Pricing $39/site N/A $57/site $39/site $105/two sites
Rank Tracking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
On-Page Optimization Premium Yes No No No
XML Sitemap Yes Yes Premium Yes Yes
Customer Support Premium Yes Premium Yes Yes


SEO can get hard and confusing without the right tools. While using any of the mentioned tools is great on its own, here are some other options to accompany top SEO plugins for WordPress you should check out:

If we had to choose only one from all of these plugins, that would be Yoast in case you want a right-out-of-the-box simple and easy-to-use plugin. Otherwise, Rank Math is a tremendous option for those who like to fiddle around with extra features.

Either way, your website needs SEO optimization, so it’s best to just pick one tool and stick with it, as there is something for everyone on the list.

It is alright if you don’t become an SEO expert in one day, as these things take time. Try to take it easy and have fun.

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