How to Monitor Your WordPress Site Easily to Minimize Downtime

If you are running a business WordPress site, minimizing the downtime will be important to minimize the loss. Not only the business site owners, every site owner hate the site’s downtime.

It is quite easy to monitor the site’s running status by setting us some monitor services. Here, I will show you a great plugin for WordPress to monitor your site’s downtime.

Jetpack is powerful plugin that from WordPress.Com. It can supercharge your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.

It comes with 33 features including Monitor:

“Jetpack Monitor will keep tabs on your site, and alert you the moment that downtime is detected.”

For more information, go to: http://jetpack.me/ or http://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/

Monitor will check your site regularly to make sure it is running normally; if not, then it will notify you with an email saying your site is down (your will keep noticed if your site is not up after an hour).

Meanwhile, when you site is back to normal, the Monitor will also send you an email to notify you. In the notification mail, the details about the when the down time starts, and when it came to end are also included so that you can track your uptime against an SLA.

Tip: Do install email to your phone to make sure you can get notified once downtime is detected.

Like using all other plugins, to use Monitor in Jetpack, you may think you only need to install the plugin and then active it; but here, you need to do something more.

Step 1. Install the plugin

As this plugin is free, you can directly search this plugin in your plugin page when you are logged in to your dashboard.

In the Plugins>Add new, and then search Jetpack, hit Install. After the installing is done, hit Active the plugin.

After that, you will be asked to connect your site to WordPress.com, just do following the steps that come after. If you have a WordPress.Com accout, you can finish the connection with a one click; if not, you need to register an account on WordPress.com

Once your site is linked to WordPress.com, you’ll be able to activate Jetpacks modules. After that, you will be lead to the Settings page to active the plugin. In fact, 19 modules have been activated automatically. In the Settings page, you can deactivate anyone you do not need, and configure the plugins that are activated already.

Step 2 – Activate And Configure Monitor

You need to activate Monitor module manually as it is not among the ones that are automatically activated. A message will come up once the Monitor is activated. Now, hit Configure to make sure the notification to be sent to your email.

In fact, here is only two option in the Configure page: whether to receive notifications and which mail do you like to receive notifications. The email address here is which you used to register on WordPress.com, if you would like to change it, just hit Edit, then you will be directed to your WordPress account page to change the email address

Aside from Monitor, the Jatpack plugin has other 32 features, just explore them yourselves!

Easily Change Fonts on Magee WordPress Theme

With the Typography feature added, Magee WordPress theme now allows users to change fonts very easily. Users can change all fonts on the site separately using typography options. The custom fonts include those in menu, header, footer, body, post content, h1-h6, etc. Every single type of font can be customized.

Typography options have included fonts color, font family, style, size, weight, variant; text spacing, line height, text decoration, and text transform, everything you need to set to the font are included in the options.

By customizing fonts, you can create special content on your site more easily. For example, if use h2-h6 sub-title with different font styles on your pages or posts, the whole page or post will look quite special.

Where to Get Free Images for WordPress Site

Images are necessary when you build our WordPress sites, but how can you get the images you need? Draw the images yourselves with some photograph programs? Oh no, it will take your lots of hair to do so. Purchase images from image banks or stock sites? You will pay a lot for that. Is it possible to get some free images? Fortunately, it is. We get some places to get the free images online. This article will share you some great websites offering free images for personal and commercial uses.

Note: If you do download from any of these sites, make sure you check the license associated with any of the images you use and always credit the author.

IM FREE

As a collection of free images, IM FREE provides images for commercial use only.

The images cover different subjects such as people, technology, sports, food & drink, arts &music, fashion & beauty, and more.

The images are sourced from different third-party sites, such as Flickr, so make sure you check the licenses on individual images before downloading and using them.

Details: http://www.imcreator.com/free

Picjumbo

Aside offering free images for commercial use, Picjumbo also offer free images for personal works. This site gets a category listing, which facilitate uses to filter the types of images they are looking for and quickly get what they need.

A wide range of subjects are included in this site, including people, food, nature, technology, fashion and more.

All images are free to use, but attribution to the creator is required.

There is a wide variety of different high resolution images covering food, nature, people, technology and fashion, among other categories.

All photos are free to use, but the author asks for attribution.

Details: http://picjumbo.com/

Public Domain Archive

Public Domain Archive is more than a gallery site for the author of this site archives free, high quality images he finds across the internet. It offers a one-stop shop to find free publish domain images.

With category navigation out there, this site offers an easy way for users to filter the kinds of images they are looking for. Also, many different subjects are covered by the images in this site.

Details: http://publicdomainarchive.com/

Pixabay

Pixabay is also a great place to find free images that are free of copyright restrictions. In this site, all images are free to download and use under Creative Commons public domain dee CC0 license, which allows you to do whatever you need including copying, distributing, and commercial uses without attribution.

Sponsored images from Shutterstock is also included in this site.

Details: http://pixabay.com/

Unsplash

This site is one of the most popular image stock sites. It includes hundreds of beautiful images in different styles.

Unlike in many other image sites, images in this site do not have copyright, you can do whatever you want since the photographers have dedicated their work to the public domain and waived all rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.

You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Ten new photos are unloaded to the site every ten days, so, you may always get new photos for your site.

The only inconvenience in this site is that there is no search box available, which means, you cannot search the images you want quickly.

 Creative Commons

The Creative Commons website in fact is a search tool that allows you to search images on several third-party sites, including Wikimedia Commons, Google Images, Flickr, Fotopedia and Pixabay.

The search tool includes options to look for images that can be used for commercial purposes, and images that are available to modify, adapt or build upon.

Details: http://search.creativecommons.org/

How to Test WordPress Site Speed

“I create a WordPress site recently, I think everything is OK, but one big problem is that the loading time is too long. It takes too long to load pages on my site. I want to know what cause this and how can I fix this problem.”—Cooper

Did you meet this problem ever? Or do you think it is just normal for a site to load slowly? It is definitely a big problem rather than being normal. In another post, I have talked about why site speed matters, so here I will not talk it anymore. So, what cause the site to load slowly? Aside the codes you developed the theme with, the site speed is mainly affected by these factors:

  1.  Hosting (shared, VPS, dedicated, etc.)
  2. Server (Whether has been correctly configured)
  3. Plugins (Whether have been correctly configured, and their performance)
  4. Images (Number, size,format, etc.)
  5. Content type ( video, text, tables, etc.)
  6. The number of CSS and Javascript files used by the theme and by plugins

To test what affect a WordPress site’s speed most, we can use some speed benchmarking service such as GTmetrix (http://gtmetrix.com/), Pingdom Website Speed Test, Google PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest, or YSlow. Among these services, GTmetrix is my recommendation for it is easy to use, more detailed, and accurate; though, you can also try the reset ones to test your site speed, data from different service is more persuasive.

The data GTmetrix shows indicates the factors that affect your site speed. So, you can take corresponding measures to fix those problems.

To test which plugin(s) slow down your site speed, you can disactive all plugins and then test your site speed, and then active them one by one to test the speed with the plugins.

After testing, you will find which plugins do good to your site and which affects your site speed.

Premium Layerslider WP Pliugin ($17) Is Added to Magee Theme

Yesterday (Aug. 7), we added a new premium plugin, LayerSlider Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin, to Magee theme. To those who want to add featured sliders on their sites, this plugin is really a good tool.

After testing, we are sure that this plugin works fine on Magee WordPress theme. It porivdes you more options when add and custom your slides. You are allowed to add different layers such as texts, videos,images, etc. to the slider, in addition, over 200 2D & 3D transitions are provided.

As a new users to this plugin, you’d better read the plugin’s details first (http://codecanyon.net/item/layerslider-responsive-wordpress-slider-plugin-/1362246). Now, just download the Version 1.7 to explore its powerful functions yourself!

How to Assign Medias to Tags and Categories

Some WordPress users often complained, if the media library gets tags or category, it would be easier to manage the media files, for examples, images. Yes, media system in WordPress has come a long way in the last years, however, it is not that user-friendly, and it should be better and easier to use. As a saying goes, where there is problem, there are solutions, it is only a time problem. With that problem in mind, users figure out solutions recently. Here, we will walk through two easy ways to solve this problem. Two methods: Here, we find two easy ways to assign media files: a plug-in solution and a non-plugin solution. For those who prefer non-plugin solutions, the latter one is just offered to them.

Method One: Use Enhanced Media Library Plugin

Plugin solutions always come with an easy way. This Enhanced Media Library Plugin in no exception. You can follow the link to see the details about this plugin. It is good, though it does not work with WordPress 3.9. Download: http://www.de-baat.nl/plugins/enhanced-media-library.zip Why we recommend this plugin For those who need to bulk upload images to site, or who already have lots of images in the library, this plugin allows them to move images into categories in bulk, for example, move 20 travel photos into a “Travel” category and then choosing 30 flower photos and moving them into a “flower” category. With the other plugins, you may need to click Edit and then you can add images to corresponding categories one by one. This plugin lets you use your existing categories and/or tags, or you can easily create your own that will only be available for media, the newly created categories will be aligned in Media category at lower place. How to use it There are couples of ways to assign your media to a category, here we will go over two simples ways to do that. 1. Assigning to Categories (or Tags) via the Uploader Generally, we upload an image or images when we want to insert them to a post. With this plugin installed, you will see a Media category section on the right-hand side of the uploader/library for categories. When you click to edit the image, you will see a similar section as well. 2. Via the Media Library List If you have already upload many images before using this plugin, you may need to put images into more than one category (or change their categories), then you can go to the Media Library. (Media > Library) When you hover over an image, you’ll now see options to assign the image to the categories you have set up. If you click multiple images, you can then go to the drop-down at the top to the left of the Toggle Bulk button, choose your category, and then click Toggle Bulk, the images will be moved into a category. Note: Since this plug-in may not works with some free WordPress themes, in your theme, some functions my not available, for example, the Toggle Bulk.

Code for Functions File

This is also very easy while not so powerful as the plugin method. By adding the code below to the function.php, you will see your images can be assign to categories and tags. And just like the steps talked above (Via the Media Library List), you can move images to categories, but you need to do that one by one. // add categories for attachments function add_categories_for_attachments() { register_taxonomy_for_object_type( ‘category’, ‘attachment’ ); } add_action( ‘init’ , ‘add_categories_for_attachments’ ); // add tags for attachments function add_tags_for_attachments() { register_taxonomy_for_object_type( ‘post_tag’, ‘attachment’ ); } add_action( ‘init’ , ‘add_tags_for_attachments’ ); In the end By assigning media files to tags or categories, managing the file will be much easier. Meanwhile, like tags and categories of posts, this assignment can also help increase your posts’ exposure in Google, Yahoo, etc.

4 Powerful Free and Universal Shortcodes Plugins Recommended

To some content, shortcodes gives you unlimited power to create your site. You can custom your content very easily. No matter what element you need to add to your pages, posts or other places on your site, shortcode can help you make it, in addition, with only a few clicks.

Six years ago, shortcode API was introduced with the release of WordPress 2.5. Since then, more and more themes (including free) allows users to add Shortcode plugins, which facilitate users to customize their sites and display content where they choose.

So far, we find four awesome free WordPress shortcode plugins, and here, let’s see their features one by one.

1. Shortcodes Ultimate

Among all shortcodes plugins, Shortcodes Ultimate is the most popular one. It gets 790000+ downloads to date in the WordPress Plugin Repository . It provides mega pack of shortcodes which can help you “quickly and easily retrieve premium themes features and display it on your site”.

With this plugin, you can easily create tabs, boxes, sliders, buttons, responsive videos and other elements.

Features:

  • Shortcode Generator
  • 50+ amazing shortcodes
  • Modern responsive design
  • Power of CSS3
  • Custom CSS editor with syntax highlight
  • Special widget
  • Rich API

Aside the 50+ shortcodes, premium add-ons are available. You can pay to get extra shortcodes (15+ extra shortcodes), additional skins (60+ skins) and a shortcode creator for creating custom code.

See details here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/shortcodes-ultimate/

2. WordPress shortcodes

WordPress shortcodes is another popular shortcodes plugin. It is less powerful than the Shortcodes Ultimate, and therefore, it gets download is about 150000.

WordPress shortcodes plugin “brings an amazing set of beautiful and useful elements to your site”, you can create SEO-friendly tabs, sections/accordions, layout, buttons lists, links, and more!

Other features include 26+ shortcodes, shortcode editor with instant previews, and customize the looks of shortcodes with custom CSS.

See more details: https://wordpress.org/plugins/synved-shortcodes/

3. Shortcoder

Shortcoder is a plugin allows you to create a custom shortcode and store HTML, Javascript and other snippets in it.

  • Easily create custom shortcodes and use them in your site
  • Support any names in shortcode name
  • Use any kind of HTML as Shortcode content.
  • Globally disable the shortcode when not needed.

More details: https://wordpress.org/plugins/shortcoder/

4. Easy Bootstrap Shortcode

Easy Bootstrap Shortcode can add bootstrap 3.0.3 styles in your pages, post and custom post easily.

This simplest bootstrap style plugin is compatible with Bootstrap 3.0.3 and features 500+ Font Awesome and Glyphicons icon fonts, is able to add icons to editor, features custom CSS, new sidebar widget and options to give custom shortcode prefix.

More details: http://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-bootstrap-shortcodes/

Magee themes that include shortcodes:

Magee

Themetify

In other themes, you can install the plugins recommended here to customize your sites.