I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
Logging into WordPress for the first time can seem a little well…
So it’s not surprising so many WordPress beginners, have so many questions.
Over the past few years I’ve been asked hundreds of WordPress questions.
And I’ve noticed some questions asked more frequently than others.
Which is why I’ve put together this article.
In this post, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked WordPress questions by business owners.
Q1. What are the best landing page builders?
There are 2 different types of landing page builder.
The first are dedicated WordPress landing page plugins. Which include free and premium versions.
Of the free WordPress plugins – WordPress Landing Pages is a popular choice with over 20,000 active installs and also Free Landing Pages Builder by Wishpond with 5,000 installs. Just be mindful that after 200 subscribers you’ll be asked to upgrade to a premium plan $49/mo.
The second type are premium landing page builders that enable you to publish the pages you create on their platform to any site – including WordPress often via a simple plugin.
I recommend Leadpages. Leadpages is the leader when it comes to creating landing pages. The No 1. product for building your email list FAST!
But there is also a third option.
Most WordPress themes come with a simple landing page template. Often as is the case with StudioPress themes this template has nothing on it – it’s a blank page.
The header and footer both removed – as it should be!
Question is – how do you put content on the page if you don’t understand HTML and CSS?
So, what’s the solution:
Use one of the free WordPress page builders such as Beaver Builder or Elementor.
Customise the page to your liking and drop in the form code from your email service provider. To add an email opt-in form to your page.
Rinse and repeat to create a thank you page – where you send people after they’ve opted in.
Q2. Do I need to use an SEO plugin for WordPress?
Short answer is no you don’t need an SEO plugin.
Let me explain:
But here’s the deal:
An SEO plugin is not a silver bullet for your SEO strategy.
SEO is a continuous process that involves technical SEO, on-page SEO and off-page SEO and ongoing content marketing.
Technical SEO is essentially laying a strong foundation to give your content the best chance. It’s about how well search engines can crawl and index your site.
On-page SEO is all the elements of a page you need to optimise to help a piece of content to rank in the SERPS.
Off-page SEO is primarily concerned with the number of inbound links that point to your site.
I have used both the All in One SEO Pack and Yoast – both are good.
And I currently use the free Yoast plugin which helps me:
- Optimise my content for specific keywords
- Add open graph metadata for Google, Facebook and Twitter
- Avoid adding duplicate content
- Some technical configuration
- And some other stuff
All of which you can do without an SEO plugin
However, a plugin will make much it easier.
Use an SEO plugin, the two mentioned are solid choices. But understand, that just because you’ve installed an SEO plugin, doesn’t mean that your content is going to miraculously start appearing on the first page of Google.
Q3. What are the best WordPress blog themes?
There are tens of thousands of WordPress themes all vying for your attention.
A lot are good, some not so good.
Poor WordPress themes are badly – if at all supported and built on poor quality code which can slow your website down and leave you vulnerable to attacks.
I use a premium WordPress theme from StudioPress.
Both StudioPress and Genesis are owned by Rainmaker Digital formerly Copyblogger. A reputable company with a long history with WordPress.
They are exceptionally well built by the best developers, they’re fast and well supported by StudioPress and an active forum and Facebook group.
The Genesis framework and a StudioPress child theme will set you back around $99 depending upon the theme you choose.
I get that when you’re just setting up funds can be tight. But whether you’re starting a blog you hope to some day monetize or a business website.
The $50-$99 you’ll pay for a premium WordPress theme will be worth it.
Q4. What is the best drag and drop WordPress theme?
WordPress page builders are increasing in popularity, for good reason.
Because unless you know how to write HTML or CSS you might struggle customising any other WordPress theme to the level you want to.
Using a WordPress Page builder you’re not constrained by your themes design or your inability to write code.
Building your website is a simple as dragging and dropping elements onto a page.
So which should you choose?
I’ve written a definitive guide to WordPress page builders that covers everything from free and paid page builders, reviews, comparisons and getting started guides. You can read here.
Amongst the most popular are:
- Visual Composer
- Beaver Builder
Things to be aware of:
Some page builders like Divi rely on use of short-codes to add the functions you need.
You might be thinking:
“What’s wrong with that?”
If you later decide you want to switch your theme, you’ll be left with a ton of these shortcodes which you will have to manually delete, page by page.
Of the many page builders out there these are two of the most rating by WordPress experts and developers alike.
Q5. How can I create a custom WordPress homepage?
There are two possible answers to this question depending upon circumtance.
Let me explain.
Because WordPress was originally built as a blogging CMS. Out of the box the front page (your home page) of your website will be configured to show your latest posts.
If you want to create a static homepage you’ll need to change the default settings.
Login into WordPress and create a new page – call it ‘Home’ save and publish the page.
Then select ‘Settings’, ‘Reading Settings’ and where it says ‘Front page displays’ change it from ‘Your latest posts’ to ‘A static page’ and in the front page drop down, select the home page you just created.
Awesome, you’ve now got a brand new static home page.
Asked in another way – this question could mean – how do you customise the homepage once you created it.
This is a good question because depending upon your theme, it might be harder than you think to create the exact layout you want. Unless – you can custom code in both HTML and CSS or you’re willing to learn.
Some themes are more flexible than others and have a number of different homepage layouts for you to choose.
Some aren’t, so choose carefully, opt for a theme that’s close enough for what you want otherwise you’ll have to get someone to customise it further for you.
You could use a page builder such as Beaver Builder which you can purchase as a plugin that you can use on other themes or with its own theme.
Alternatively you can use a landing page builder such as Leadpages, Thrive or ClickFunnels you to create a custom homepage. Which you can publish as your homepage on your website or blog.
Q6. What is the best WordPress plugin for scheduling appointments?
Do you want to take appointments on your WordPress website?
Then you’ll need an appointments or bookings plugin or app.
Whether you’re a coach, consultant, personal trainer or run a hair salon, being able to accept bookings directly from your website maybe essential for your business.
The good news is there plenty of options for you.
Including dedicated WordPress plugins and standalone apps such a Calendly.
With a standalone calendar you can either send your customers or clients to the app (via a link) or embed it on your site using a WordPress plugin.
I have only used one appointments plugin Appointments+ (a popular WordPress plugin) from WPMUDEV which comes in free and paid version.
It’s an incredibly capable plugin which enables users to login via Facebook, Twitter G+ or their WordPress account, save appointments directly to your Google calendar and take payment, albeit via a third party app.
However there are some other popular apps available which include:
These 4 apps seem to be amongst the most popular and well worth checking out if appointments is your thing.
Q7. What are the most recommended WordPress plugins for creating membership sites?
If you want a full list of free and paid membership site plugins check out my article on best online course platforms.
But amongst the most popular include:
Yes there are many others. But these 5 plugins consistently appear amongst the highest rated product reviews and comparisons.
Before you start looking at all the options.
Write a specification for what you want to achieve with your membership program. This could include what type of membership program you’ll offer and the features you’ll need to run it, how you’ll scale it and any other software you want it to play nicely with.
Q8. What are your top 5 WordPress Plugins?
Open up a new tab in Google right now and search for ‘top WordPress plugins’ the first 2 pages (maybe more) are full of the ‘best’ ‘must have’ or ‘top’ WordPress plugins posts.
Now, I don’t like these ‘generic’ plugin list posts.
WordPress plugins extend the functionality or add new features of your WordPress website in a specific areas.
Want a plugin to help you edit your themes CSS, add social sharing buttons to your blog or add a contact form to your website.
You’ll find a plugin for each.
And there are currently 52,000 WordPress plugins in the WordPress repository.
Some are fairly broad and can be used on many websites, others very specific.
So tell me, how is one list post on the top 5, 10 or even 25+ WordPress plugins going to help your very specific requirements?
A SMALL list of essential plugins that covers areas such as backups, security, SEO, site speed.
When I start a new WordPress install I start with a basic set of plugins that covers the following areas:
Be careful with WordPress plugins, plugins can add a lot of unnecessary bloat to your website which can dramatically slow down your site.
If you want to check which plugins are guilty of slowing down your website install PR Profiler – this free plugins measures your website performance and impact each plugin has on your sites load time.
Beyond the basics and you might want to consider:
- WPForms or Ninja Forms are good choices
- Google Analytics – Google Analytics for WordPress
- Inserting pixels – Insert Headers and Footers
- CSS editor – CSS Hero or Microthemer
- Commenting – Disqus
- Image compresion – Imagify
Q9. What email capture plugin or service do you recommend?
When I first started my blog, options were limited.
Due to the value and importance of building an email list that is no longer the case.
The easiest place to start is with your email service provider.
Create a form in your email service provider (MailChimp, AWeber, ConvertKit, Drip, Active Campaign) grab the embed code for the form and embed it on your website. By either pasting the code into a widget, post or page (see below).
Beyond that there are a number of dedicated list-building plugins such as Leadpages, Sumo, Thrive Leads, eNews Extended plugin and OptinMonster.
You can create a variety of different opt-in forms such as , customise them and add them to your site.
Q10. Which is the best hosting for WordPress site?
This question gets asked on an almost daily basis.
Ask this question in Facebook group and you’ll get a mixed bag of responses. And it won’t help you.
My take on this.
Use a managed WordPress host.
Why a ‘managed’ host?
With a managed WordPress hosting company you’ll have peace of mind they’ll know the content management systeminside out, will offer one click WordPress install or often install it for you. And they’ll update WordPress for you each time WordPress is updated.
Choose between an entry level shared hosting provider or a premium cloud based WordPress hosting company. Depending upon your budget and requirements.
Entry level WordPress hosting:
I recommend SiteGround. Besides using superfast SSD hard drives (faster than mechanical hard drives) provide exceptional report and incredibly reliable.
When your traffic and business increases I recommend WP Engine to host your WordPress blog or website. WP Engine provides super-fast, cloud hosting.
You’ve just read about the 10 most frequently asked WordPress questions. Now it’s your turn.
Got a WordPress that you’d like answered? Let me know in the comments?