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Submit XML Sitemap

Submit XML Sitemap

Now, it’s time to submit this to Google.

Google has two versions of the search console, the old Google Webmaster Tools and the new Google Search Console. We recommend using the new platform but steps for both are below.

Submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools

  1. Sign in to Google Webmaster Tools.
  2. Select you website.
  3. In the left sidebar, click Crawl and then Sitemaps.
  4. Remove outdated or invalid sitemaps like sitemap.xml.
  5. Click the Add/ Test Sitemap button in the top right.
  6. Enter sitemap_index.xml into the text box that appears
  7. Click “Submit”.

Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console

  1. Sign in to Google Search Console.
  2. In the left sidebar, select your website.
  3. Click “Crawl”, then click “Sitemap”.
  4. If this’s first time you’ve ever created or submitted a sitemap, there will be nothing to show.
  5. Click “Add/ Test Sitemap.” A small box will appear with a place to add your sitemap URL. This is where you paste in the section of the URL from your sitemap: yoursitemap_index.xml
  6. Click “Submit”.

Search console will confirm your submission with the message, “Item submitted.” Go ahead and refresh the page. Your newly submitted sitemap will appear.

After a few minutes of processing, Google will provide a full report of how your sitemap is functioning.

That’s it! You’ve successfully generated an XML sitemap, submitted it to Google.

Conclusion

If you know nothing about sitemaps, and need to go through the whole process for the first time, no problem. Walking through the entire process from start to finish may take, at most, twenty minutes. But, the SEO benefits, however, will be enormous.

If you’ve never created an XML for your website, get one made today. You can do it and must utter that it turned out not to be very difficult.

Then, check back here to tell me the kind of SEO boost you’ve experienced!

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Create an XML sitemap using Yoast

Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress. Yoast makes it easy to create and submit an XML sitemap.

We’ll explain how to do it step by step.

Note: In the screenshots below, my WordPress admin might look a little bit different from yours. That shouldn’t keep you from being able to follow each step.

Log in to WordPress admin

First, we’ll to turn on Yoast’s advanced settings. In the left sidebar, it has a “Y” icon, and says “SEO”. Click the “Dashboard” option.

Create XML Sitemap

From the Dashboard, click “Features”. From the Features tab, find “Advanced settings pages”.

Switch the advanced settings to “enabled”. Then, scroll to the bottom and click “Save Changes”.

Great! Now that we’re turned on Yoast’s advanced features. You should see that the Yoast menu in the left sidebar has changed. There are a few additional options.

Create your XML sitemap

It’s very simple to do, but we’ll give you the instructions in a detailed way.

In the Yoast menu, click XML sitemaps. Here is where you setup your XML sitemap functionality.

The first tab “General”. You can leave the settings where they are.

User sitemap tab

If your WordPress site has multiple authors, and you want their author archive URLs to be indexed, you can enable this tab.

If you leave it disabled, it won’t harm the full functionality of the sitemap. We’ve left it disabled here, because the WordPress site we’re using has a single author.

If you’ve changed anything, click “save changes.”

Post Types tab

In this section, you’ll decide which types of posts should be indexed. In most cases, you’ll want to include everything  “in sitemap”. If you prefer to keep some of your content hidden or gated, then leave it off the sitemap.

Note sure what to do? Keep everything “In sitemap”.

Again, click “save changes”.

Excluded Posts tab

Do you have any posts that you know you want to keep off the sitemap? If so, add them here.

If you’ve added any posts to the exclusion list, click “save changes”.

Taxonomies tab

Most likely, you’ll keep the settings here the same. The more tabs you keep “in sitemap”, the fuller and more helpful your XML sitemap will be.

If you do make changes, be sure to click “save changes”.

Okay, your sitemap is ready! Let’s take a look at it.

Go back to the “General tab”

Under the heading “Your XML Sitemap”, click to view your XML sitemap.

That’s your brand new, shiny XML sitemap.

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XML Sitemap

When it comes to SEO and marketing, I like quick and easy wins.

We want to share with you one of SEO techniques – creating an XML sitemap.

Even though an XML sitemap is considered a “technical” side of SEO, it’s not hard to make one. And, really, it’s not “technical” either.

In fact, in just a few minutes you could create a really good XML sitemap. You don’t have to know how to code. You just have to know how to click.

It’s free and easy. It’s relatively simple, and it can improve your SEO.

Ready to give it a try?

What is an XML sitemap?

In simple terms, it’s a list of a website’s URLs. That’s why it’s called a sitemap. It maps out how the website is structured and what the website includes. “XML” stands for “Extensible Markup Language”, a way of displaying information on websites.

Why do you need a Sitemap?

Search engines use crawlers to organize and index information on the web. An XML sitemap makes it easy for the crawler to see what’s on your website and index it. Once it does this, your website has a stronger likelihood of improving its rank quickly.

An XML sitemap works, essentially, as a table of contents for your website, allowing the crawler to get the essentials and index your site accordingly. This means that it allows to inform Search Engines about important pages on your website. That increases its visibility to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex etc, and ensures indexing of the web pages that might not be discovered otherwise. Those provide additional information about your site to searching engines, complementing their traditional method of crawling the World Wide Wed. Having an XML Sitemap will let Google, Yahoo, Microsoft’s Bing (MSN), and Ask have up-to-date information any time you upload a new map file to your server. Having an XML Sitemap will let Google, Yahoo, Microsoft’s Bing (MSN), and Ask have up-to-date information any time you upload a new map file to your server.

In General

XML Sitemaps are especially helpful. If you happen to have broken links on your website, our Sitemap Generator will scan those and inform you if any are dead, and which specific pages need to be fixed.

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WordPress provides revision control on any pages or posts that you create which allow you to go back and see previous edits that you’ve written over in the database. While this can seem like a great thing to have, over toime it can lead to a lot of unessary overhead in your WordPress database.

In this article, we’re going to talk about WordPress revisions and how to disable or limit WordPress post revisions.

WordPress Revisions

Whenever you save a page or post in WordPress it creates a revision. This occurs in both drafts and already published posts that are updated. Revisions can be helpful in case you need to revert back to a previous version of your content. However, they can also hurt the performance of your WordPress site. On large site this can add up very quickly to thousands of rows in your database which are not necessarily needed. And the more rows you have the larger your database in size, which takes up storage space. Follow the steps below on how to delete, limit and disable WordPress revisions for faster performance.

Disable WordPress Revisions

In the steps below, we’ll show you how to completly turn off WordPress revisions for your pages and posts. We’ll be using the WP_POST_REVISIONS setting in your wp-config.php file to accomplish this.

1. Open your wp-config.php file. You will need to add some code. This is typically located in the root of your WordPress site directory and you can access it via FTP.

2. Enter in the following code towards the top of the wp-config.php file:

define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false);

Note: The code above needs to be inserted above the “ABSPATH” otherwise it won’t work.

It should look something like the following.

Disable WordPress Post Revisions

Limit WordPress Revision

Using the steps below I’ll show you how you can limit the number of revisions that WordPress will store per page or post. By default there is no limit on the amount of revisions so any limit you impose is going to help keep your WordPress database more efficient. Again we’ll be using the WP_POST_REVISIONS setting in your wp-config.php file to make these changes.

In this example we’re going to set our max amount of revisions per page or post to 3. So in total there will be 4 entries in the database per page or post, 1 for the original itself, and then the 3 latest revisions.

1. The steps are the same as disable revisions above. Open your wp-config.php file.

2. The code below needs to be inserted above the “ABSPATH” otherwise it won’t work.

define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 3);

Summary

Hopefully now your WordPress revision won’t be bloating your database.

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Integrate Facebook with WordPress

Facebook’s never a bad idea to piggyback off what’s popular. We’ve already discussed some general ways to integrate Facebook with WordPress. But using Facebook for your comments section is another great way to connect the two.

Using the Facebook Comments plugin offers several advantages:

  • Users who are already signed into Facebook can immediately comment.
  • Comments are threaded to easily differentiate between comment chains.
  • No anonymous comments – can improve quality by removing anonymity.
  • Comments are sorted by number of likes.
  • Despite it’s many competitors, Facebook still remains the king when it comes to social media.

In this post, we’ll explore ways to integrate WordPress with Facebook. Let’s get started!

Wp Facebook Login for WordPress

This particular approach on how to integrate WordPress with Facebook is rather interesting. Facebook enables third-party apps to use their login feature, which means that users don’t need to create a new account with your website to log in. All they have to do is authorize the use of their Facebook account info.

To enable the function on your site, you’ll firstly need to obtain a Facebook App ID. Once you have it, follow rest of the steps outlined in the plugin’s official instructions. They’re quite simple, don’t fret!

WordPress Facebook Comments Plugin

Integrate Facebook with WordPress - plugin

Facebook and WordPress comment sections aren’t that different if you take them at face value. However, the former has two distinct advantages over the latter.

First of all, it enables people to comment using their existing accounts, which works well with the Facebook login method we discussed earlier. Secondly, by using Facebook comments, you also get access to their built-in Like function, which makes popular comments rise to the top. That, in turn, could help foster discussion around your posts.

To add this functionality, we recommend using the Facebook Comments WordPress plugin. Aside from enabling the implementation of Facebook comment sections, it also provides you with plenty of customization choices.

To set things up, you’ll need a Facebook App ID. Then you can follow the plugin’s official documentation to get everything else set up.

Conclusion

Integrating WordPress with Facebook can help you improve user experience on your website. It enables users to show how they fell about your content, interact with one other, and even help you promote your Facebook page in the process.

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If you want to get your visitors engaged and coming back to your site, a vibrant comments section will go a long way towards achieving your goal. Today, we’ll show you some helpful WordPress comments plugins  which can completely replace the default WordPress commenting system.

WordPress Comments Plugins

The default WordPress comments system is adequate, but doesn’t offer much in the way of added functionality. The following plugins change that by adding some cool new features to your WordPress comments section.

1. Postmatic

One of the major hurdles you’ll encounter with comments sections is engagement. Readers may leave one comment after they finish a post, but they’re unlikely to come back and check that comments section at a later date. That means creating an ongoing discussion is a uphill battle.

By using the Postmatic plugin, you can let readers subscrible to comments via email.

And here’s the unique part – readers can respond to comments directly from their email inbox. No need to force them to come back to your site.

Your readers can also get notifications when you publish new posts and simirlarly comment on fresh posts directly from their email.

In short, Postmatic is a great way to boost engagement by making it easier for your readers to actually comment on your post

2. Postmatic Social Commenting 

If you want an easy way to authenticate users, you can let them fill in their comment information via their social profiles. Postmatic’s Social Commenting plugin lets users click on their social network of choice to automatically authenticate their comment.

Comments Plugins

It’s lightweight and doesn’t require creating actual WordPress accounts – all it does is place a cookie on the commenter to remember them.

 

If you want to completely overhaul your WordPress comments section ( instead of using WordPress comments plugins). You can turn to a third-party solution. There’s a number of them out there, but FaceBook is the most popular options. We will introduce it to you in the next article.

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Control Comments

Control comment

Besides disabling comments altogether, you can also get  more control over comments by adjusting things in the Settings > Discussing panel. 

Let’s have a quick look through the options available:

  • Requiring moderator to approve the comment before it is published: this is not only catches bots and spam, but also helps to prevent a comment from appearing right away on the frontend of your site. It will appear on your dashboard in the comments queue where you’ll have to deal with it.
  • Blacklisting IP addresses, usernames or emails: blacklist known offenders, and even a partial match to the list will be blocked. You can also add a bit of code to .htaccess to block known malicious IPs.
  • Requiring the user to register: Can bring down both spam and the volumn of comments
  • Approving comment authors: Save time by approving comment authors. Subsequent comments will pass through easily.
  • Closing comments on older articles: Specify the number of days after which comments will be stopped. Spammers generally target older posts, so closing comments will cut down on spam.
  • Limiting links: this can thwart spammers who like to leave as many link as possible with their comment.
  • Be notified when you receive comments: If you keep yourself abreast with new comments, you can act swiftly on unwanted ones.

To conclude

Smaller websites can control comments simply by adjusting settings in WordPress or using a simple plugin. Setting the manual WordPress settings aside, you can also use plugins to make the job easier and give you a more “managed” control over comments, so to speak.

Overall, welcoming comments or disabling them – it’s more of an individual preference, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of comments on your blog. In next post, we’ll show you how to enhance the default comments section with some helpful WordPress comments plugin.

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Enable And Disable Comments On Future Posts

Disable Comments

You disable comments on new posts you publish in the future in Settings > Discussion.

Disable Comments

Uncheck the box next to “Allow people to post comments on new articles” under Default article settings.

Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page and you’re done!

Enable Comments

Opposite, if you’ve disabled comments on posts and want to enable comments on future posts you need to:

Go to Settings > Discussion

Check the box next to “Allow people to post comments on new articles” under Default article settings.

Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Note: Any changes to your default article settings on Settings > Discussion only aply to any posts or pages you publish in the future.

Enable and disable comments on published posts and page.

DISCUSSION MODULE

To change the comment settings for a post or page you aready published you can open the post or page for editing and check or uncheck “Allow Comments” in the Discussion module and then click Update.

By default, new blogs have the Discussion module hidden.

You enable the discussion module as follows:

  • Click on Screen Options in the upper right corner of your dashboard when you have a post open in edit mode.

  • Check the checkbox next to Discussion.

  • Once the Discussion module is revealed you’ll see it appear below your Editor.

You now enable or disable comments on the post or page as follows:

  • Scroll down to the Discussion module
  • Check or uncheck “Allow Comments”.
    + Check Allow Comment: enable comments
    + Uncheck Allow Comment : disable comments
  • Click publish/update

Note: Any changes to published posts or pages only apply those posts and pages.

 

Comments can enhance a blog in many ways. They convert a monologue into a discussion and build community. Besides, they can give a minor boost to SEO. So, why would anyone want to disable comments in WordPress? Mostly because comments can often be self promotional, spammy and sometimes hurtful.

In next post, we’ll show you how to get more control over comments.

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Customizing The Push Notification(cont.)

Next, you can scroll down and change settings for each option you want to customize. Ideally, you would want to change bell icon colors to match your own theme colors.

Customizing The Push Notification

Sending Push Notifications from Your WordPress Site

By default, the OneSignal plugin automatically sends push notifications for all new posts published on your website. If you want , then you can turn this feature off from  plugin’s settings page under “Automatic Notification Settings” section.

You can also manually send a notification when you publish or update a post. Simply edit a WordPress post or page, and you will see the OneSignal meta box on the right.

Check the box next to “Send notification on post update/ publish” and then click on update or publish button.

OneSignal will now send your article as a push notification to all your subscribers.

Send a welcome push notification to new subscribers

You can also send a welcome push notification to your new subscribers. Visit OneSignal’s settings page in your WordPress admin area and scroll down to the “Wellcome Notification Settings” section.

Now when a new subscribes for push notifications, they will receive a welcome notification on their device.

You can also send custom notification from the OneSignal app dashboard. The process is quite intuitive and you can follow onscreen instructions once you login to OneSignal.

That’s all, you have successfully added web push notifications to your WordPress site.

Why should we choose OneSignal plugin from the beginning

Benefits and features of WordPress Push Notifications:

  • 100% free to use
  • Unlimited WordPress push notifications
  • Unlimited devices
  • Delivery automation
  • Localization
  • Full API
  • Tracking with Google analytics.

It is important to choose the right  web push notification service from the start. Since most providers try to lock you in their platform, changing your push notification service can result in losing your old subscribers. Meaning if you switch, then you will be starting from scratch.

We hope this article helped you learn how to add web push notifications to your WordPress site.

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Safari push notifications

Now it is time to set up the Safari push notifications. Click into “Settings” and click on “Apple Safari”.

Setting up the Safari push notifications.
It will then display your Web ID which you will want to copy to your clipboard.

Safari push notifications

Then paste that into the Safari Web ID field of your OneSignal configuration settings. Scroll down and click “Save”.

And that’s it! Now you have WordPress push notifications up and running.
You can now visit your website. You will see a push notification popup on the top and a bell notification icon at the bottom right corner of the screen.
The push notification popup will also appear on mobile browsers.

Note: The appearance of push notification popup prompt may differ based on http/https settings of your site.

That’s why this push notification prompt looks different than what you see on some other websites?
Normally, OneSignal comes with two different prompt types. The first one is the push notification popup and the other one is the subscription bell icon.

Customizing The Push Notification Popup

The basic push notification popup is quite simple. It uses generic language and displays your site’s logo. You may want to customize that to make it more personal.

Simply switch to the configuration tab under OneSignal plugin’s setting page on your WordPress site and scroll down to the “HTTP Pop-Up Settings” section.You need to click on the toggle next to “Customize the HTTP Pop-Up Promt text” and then start adding your own text.
Don’t forget to click on the Save button to store your settings before testing.

Customize the Bell Notification Icon

The bell icon is also fully customizable from the plugin’s settings page. Simply scroll down to “Prompt Settings & Subscription Bell” section and turn on the customization options that you want to change.

You can then scroll down and change settings for each option you want to customize. Ideally, you would want to change bell icon colors to match your own theme colors.

click here to continue >>

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