28 Aug 2019

Why you should abandon PHP 5.6

PHP 5.6 was a great and very widely used version of PHP. For years developers enjoyed the benefits of the PHP 5 branch, and was updated for a long period. But, all good things must come to an end, and as of Jan 1st, 2019, PHP 5.6 has reached E.O.L which stands for End Of Life. This means it is no longer receiving security fixes or updates.

What does this mean for you?

If you’ve been keeping your PHP applications up to date (you should be!) then moving to a new version of PHP should be little to no problem. PHP applications that are being developed at a continual basis, will almost always be supporting the latest in server software’s. This is especially true for PHP applications.

However, we all have lives away from the screen and we tend to forget about the software’s we have installed to run our online website/applications. which means they tend to get overlooked when it comes to updates. If you’ve not been keeping your PHP apps up-to-date, then the first thing to do is check with the developer and see if there are updates to the applications you are using. If there are newer versions of your application, then updating your application should be relatively straight forward. Many of today’s PHP applications, such as WordPress, have the ability for automated updates to make moving to a new version fairly straight forward.

No matter what however, The one thing you should make top priority is moving away from PHP 5.6. Not moving away from 5.6 could lead to your site and serve being compromised, as security vulnerabilities will, and more than likely already have been found.

Why moving to PHP version 7.1 or higher is the right thing to do.

Speed!

PHP 7 saw a rewrite of the Zend Engine, introducince what is called ZendEngine Next Gen, adding one of the largest speed enhancements to PHP applications ever. PHP 7.1 and higher versions add immense performance increases to php applications that were running on PHP 5. Most tests conducted show speed improvements of almost double to trible for wordpress and most common CMS applications.

Code compatibility

With a new Major version of PHP (That being 7.x), most application developers will be dropping support for 5.6. In most cases, without upgrading your PHP version, you will be unable to upgrade your application, or will have issues if you do. In other words the transition stage of migrating PHP applications seamlessly from PHP 5 to PHP 7 is closing fast.

Security

As of now, PHP 7.0 has already reached its EOL period, and is no longer maintained. But PHP 7.2 does not end its EOL until January 1st 2021, and PHP 7.3 until January 1st 2022. This means you will always have security updates and fixes until those times.

How do I move to PHP 7.1 or higher?

Thats the easy part! If you are one of our DIY or Managed WordPress Hosting clients, no need to worry about upgrading, because you’re already using the most current version! If you’re hosting with another provider, the best thing to do is to check with their support team to see if they have them available. Alternatively, on cpanel based systems, you can easily swap version using the build in MultiPHP version change system.

Motivated to move away from PHP 5.6?

Hopefully we have helped you to see the benefits of moving away from PHP 5.6. If you want to move away, and either are not able to, or do not know how to, then contact us! With our new Managed WordPress Service, we will help maintain, update, secure and optimize your wordpress site, and help the transition process much easier. Or make the migration to us today, We will match or do better than your current pricing! We offer both DIY(Do it Yourself) hosting for those who want to control all aspects of their site, as well as Managed WordPress Hosting where we take care of all the backend work for you! Contact our sales team today!

11 Dec 2018

What is Managed wordpress hosting?

What is Managed WordPress Hosting? There’s no denying that WordPress is a standout among the most amazing site frameworks available today. It offers broad Search engine optimization abilities, strong security, and all the customization a developer may require. WordPress additionally has an overall network of engineers, bloggers, and specialists devoted to developing and enhancing the open-source system. In any case, organizations hoping to embrace WordPress should initially recognize the contrast between Managed WordPress Hosting and unmanaged, or shared hosting, WordPress Hosting. Understanding the nuanced advantages of Managed WordPress Hosting can enable you to settle on the best decision for your business site.

WHAT IS MANAGED WORDPRESS HOSTING?

Managed WordPress hosting is a professional service that controls and maintains the technical elements of a WordPress website. Managed WordPress hosts are a more sophisticated option for businesses and institutions in all industries, offering invaluable advantages, such as cutting-edge security, superior customer support, optimal site speed, improved performance, and a variety of other benefits.

UNMANAGED VS. MANAGED HOSTING

While unmanaged hosting is traditionally less expensive than managed WordPress hosting, unmanaged sites often offer minimal features and require much more work to create and maintain. The minimal nature of unmanaged WordPress hosts can be a great option for individuals, bloggers, or independent contractors looking to create a personal website or establish an online presence. It can also help engineers and other individuals who want to learn more about WordPress development and customization.

For businesses trying to grow their brand and expand their audience reach, however, managed WordPress is a much more effective and reliable option. Why? Because managed WordPress hosts like The Hosting Guy oversee the more challenging and technical aspects of a WordPress business site. For example, managed hosts conduct routine backups, monitor site downtime, and ensure speed and reliability. Managed WordPress sites almost always guarantee faster site speeds, despite the amount of traffic your website receives. And with automatic updates, you’ll always have the most up-to-date version of WordPress — without having to spend time checking for updates and waiting for downloads.

With the specific knowledge and skills required to manage such technical elements, managed WordPress hosts provide business owners with a hassle-free experience and piece of mind. As a result, investing in managed WordPress frees up resources that website owners can dedicate to other key areas of business development.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MANAGED WORDPRESS HOSTING?

The number of sites relying on managed WordPress has grown rapidly in the last seven years, and it has become a dominant content management system for companies of all sizes and industries. And if you’re considering a managed WordPress host for your company, it’s important to understand the main differences between managed hosting and unmanaged hosting.

Benefits of Managed wordpress hosting

Here’s a more detailed look into four key benefits of managed WordPress hosting.

SITE SECURITY

One of the most beneficial aspects of managed WordPress hosting is that it offers unparalleled security. With an unmanaged WordPress site, for example, you’re responsible for finding the right tools, scans, and updates you need to keep your site secure. This might work if you’re a one person team who has experience in malware and file scanning and DDoS mitigation. If not, no problem. Managed sites implement the highest level of security on your site, plus they’ll conduct daily backups, malware scans and frequent updates that prevent hackers from disturbing your website.

UPTIME MONITORING

The speed and performance of your WordPress site has a direct impact on your search engine rankings and your user experience. So when your website experiences slow speed, downtime, or other performance issues, it’s important to identify and remedy these issues promptly. Most managed WordPress hosts offer 24/7 website monitoring, so business owners don’t have to worry about checking their site’s performance at every waking moment. For busy business owners who want to maintain a strong reputation and customer experience, performance monitoring is a huge plus of Managed WordPress.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

When you invest in managed WordPress hosting, you’re paying for highly-skilled support agents that can assist with all your needs 24/7. Managed WordPress hosts train support technicians who can understand the technical nuances of WordPress, helping to solve both common and complex problems. For example, The Hosting Guy equips every member of its support team with a comprehensive skill set and contextual client knowledge. Every person who calls The Hosting Guy support receives consistent, high-quality support tailored to their website’s specific needs. This is just one example of how technical support differs between managed and unmanaged WordPress.

CUSTOMIZABLE HOSTING SOLUTIONS

Most managed WordPress hosts have the customization capacity to support all industries, from higher education, to eCommerce companies, and everything in between. If you’re in the healthcare industry, for example,
The Hosting Guy supports regulatory compliance statues like HIPAA. If you’re an online retailer, you can protect cardholder security through PCI DSS support. Additionally, managed WordPress sites can be a great solution for agencies. By managing critical site elements like server management, speed tuning and caching, agencies can launch creative work confidently and securely.

CHOOSING A MANAGED WORDPRESS HOST

Once you’ve decided that managed WordPress hosting is right for you, it’s time to choose the right provider. And while many managed WordPress hosts are designed to support a variety of industries, every website’s needs are unique and some hosts may meet your needs better than others. This article features reviews of managed WordPress hosts, and it’ll provide you with some industry-specific details. If you’re new to managed WordPress hosting, this is a great place to start learning about the marketplace.

06 Dec 2018

24 Amazing Business plugins for WordPress

A significant number of our clients are entrepreneurs who regularly approach us for Plugin recommendations. Having the correct arrangement of instruments can enable you to take your business to the sky. In this article, we will share the must have best WordPress plugins for business sites in 2018.

Amazing WordPress Plugins 2018

1. WPForm


As a business owner, allowing your customers to contact you should be your top priority. WPForms is the most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, order forms, payment forms, and other type of online forms with just a few clicks.

2. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to connect your website with Google Analytics, so you can learn more about your website visitors such as where are they coming from and what are they doing on your website.

You can then optimize your site accordingly to improve your earnings. We have detailed guides on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress and how to use Google Analytics.

MonsterInsights also has a free version. If you would like to take advantage of the advanced features, then you should get the Pro version.

3. OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most popular conversion rate optimization software. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers. If you want to grow your email list, then this is a must have WordPress plugin in 2017. Read these case studies to see how much success other businesses are having by using OptinMonster.

4. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the best email marketing service providers. Thus allows you to build an email lists and send emails to your subscribers. It is by far the most beginner friendly platform, with quick and easy setup. It comes with built-in tools to add signup forms and also works well with lead generation software like OptinMonster.

5. Sucuri

Sucuri

Security is going to be a big concern for online business owners in 2017. Sucuri’s web application firewall is probably one of the best protection you can get for your site.

They monitor and protect your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack.

If you don’t have a firewall on your website, then add one today.

6. BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy

While we’re talking about security, there’s no better security than having a reliable backup system.

As a business owner, you cannot afford to lose your business and customer data in case of a hardware failure or an attack on your host’s servers. The first thing you should setup on all your WordPress sites is a backup plugin. We recommend using BackupBuddy because it is one of the most reliable and easiest way to backup and restore your WordPress sites with just a few clicks.

7. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO (formerly known as WordPress SEO by Yoast) is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. It allows you to optimize your WordPress site for search engines.

It not only helps you add meta tags, it optimizes your site as a whole. We have a complete step by step guide on how to install and setup WordPress SEO by Yoast.

8. Baqend

Speed is one of the most important SEO factors. Faster websites rank higher in Google, this means more visitors for your business website and more conversions.

Here at The Hosting Guy, we partnered with Baqend to provide a fully integrated caching and CDN Hybrid. Cut your Time to first byte (TTFB) down and load everything instantly.

9. SeedProd

SeedProd

SeedProd is the best WordPress coming soon and maintenance page plugin in the market. It comes with a real-time page builder that gives you access to 500,000+ background images, 750+ Google Fonts & 50+ ready-made templates.

You can add your social media profiles and connect it to all popular email service providers to capture emails from day 1. You can also have full control of your website as you work on it or give full or limited access to anyone you want.

10. Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery

While you can easily create image galleries in WordPress without using a plugin, these galleries are fairly basic. Envira Gallery allows you to create beautiful responsive galleries in WordPress.

You can create multiple galleries, add them anywhere on your site, create albums, open images in lightbox popups, and much more. Take a look at our tutorial on how to easily create responsive WordPress image galleries with Envira.

11. MemberPress

MemberPress

MemberPress allows you to build online communities on your WordPress website. It is the best WordPress membership plugin that allows you to easily add membership options to your WordPress website.

You can create subscriptions and restrict content to users based on their subscription plans. It works with all popular payment ways and plays nicely with online stores using WooCommerce.

12. Shared Counts

Shared Counts

Shared Counts is the best WordPress social media plugin. It allows you to easily add social media sharing buttons to your website. Unlike other social sharing plugins, Shared Counts is super-fast and comes with only the social platforms you actually use.

13. LearnDash

LearnDash is the best WordPress LMS plugin to create and sell online courses from your WordPress website. It has a drag and drop course builder that allows you to quickly add lessons, quizzes, assignments to build your course.

For detailed step by step instructions, see our guide on how to create online courses in WordPress using LearnDash.

14. Quick and Easy FAQs

Adding FAQs section in WordPress

When launching a new product or website, you may need to add a FAQs section in WordPress. You can add a new page with all the frequently asked questions (FAQs), but in most cases FAQs grows as your product evolves and as your customer base grows.

By adding the FAQ section, you can significantly reduce your support overhead and improve conversion. Take a look at how to add a FAQs section in WordPress.

15. Insert Headers and Footers

Insert Header and Footer

While managing your WordPress sites, you may sometimes need to add code snippets to your WordPress site’s header or footer. This means you will have to edit the theme files which could get messy and break up your WordPress theme. Insert Headers and Footer allows you to easily add code snippets to your WordPress site without editing your theme files. Take a look at our tutorial on how to add header and footer code in WordPress.

16. CSS Hero

CSS Hero

WordPress themes rely on CSS for the visual appearance of your website. If you want to make customization to your theme, then you will have to learn CSS. This can be time consuming for a business owner.

CSS Hero is a WordPress plugin that allows you to customize any WordPress theme without writing a single line of code. Check out our review of how CSS Hero makes WordPress customization easy for more information.

17. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder

As a business owner you may soon realize that placing things differently on your pages can result into more conversions and sales. But how do you create those landing pages without learning to code?

Beaver Builder is a powerful drag and drop page builder tool for WordPress. It allows you to easily create your own page layouts using a simple user interface. See our comparison of the best drag and drop page builders for WordPress for more information.

18. Google Apps for Work

Google Apps for Work

Google Apps for Work is a suite of web applications like email, docs, spreadsheets, etc. Created by Google, this powerful suite of office applications is cheaper, easy to deploy, and hassle free. Most importantly, it allows you to use your own business domain name for emails.

19. Freshbooks

Freshbooks

Freshbooks is a cloud based accounting software for professionals, freelancers, and agencies. It allows you to easily send invoices to clients, receive payments, and manage your finances. Take a look at our article about creating invoices for clients using WordPress.

20. SEMRush

SEMrush

As a business owner, you need data to find out what your competitors are doing for their websites. SEMRush allows you to look at the keywords where your competitors are ranking. You can checkout their paid keywords as well as their organic traffic. This way you can optimize your own content and marketing strategy. Also checkout our list of best WordPress SEO plugins and tools that you should use.

21. All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets

All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets are special markup that you can add to your content and describe your content more precisely to search engines. This information is then used by search engines to show your content differently. For example, star ratings below your product listings, maps when someone searches for your business, and so on. All in One Schema.org rich snippets plugin provides you an easy user interface to generate that markup and use it in your WordPress posts and pages.

Check our guide on how to add rich snippets in WordPress.

22. BirchPress

BirchPress

If you need a solution for your business website where your users can book and pay for appointments, then BirchPress is the solution for you. It allows you to easily add a complete online booking system to your WordPress site.

You may also want to see our guide on 5 best WordPress appointment and booking plugins.

23. MaxCDN

MaxCDN

Images and other static content on a website take the longest time to load. If you want to make your website even faster, then you will need to use a CDN to deliver your static files. MaxCDN is the most reliable CDN service, and it integrates easily with WordPress. See our guide on how to install and setup WordPress CDN solution MaxCDN on your site.

24. Slack

Slack

Slack is a team management, productivity and communication tool. We use it to communicate with our team spread across different timezones and locations. Slack is more convenient than email, and it can integrate with tons of other online tools you may be using. See our guide on how to integrate Slack with WordPress for more information.

We hope this article helped you find some of the best WordPress plugins for your business website. You may also want to take a look at our guide on 25 most common WordPress mistakes that you want to avoid.

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