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5 Best Plugins to Build Community Forums on WordPress

5 Best Plugins to Build Community Forums on WordPress

Community building is its own sweet reward. Who doesn’t like the idea of a virtual space where your targeted audience comes together to share ideas/Q and A/ wrangle/ et al?

The next question, of course, is whether it can be done on WordPress. The answer: Come on. It’s WordPress. It can handle anything. Checkout

So for those looking to build a virtual Common Room/ Frat-house/ What-Have-You, here’s a list of top 5 plugins to make it real:

1. BuddyPress

BuddyPress

Price: Free (licensed GPLv2.0 like WordPress.org). Paid ‘extensions’ can be found as regular WordPress plugins (“BuddyPress compatible”)

Available at: WordPress Plugin Repository

You can’t put ‘WordPress’ and ‘community’ in a sentence together and not end up talking about BuddyPress at some point. Figured we’d just get it over with now.

I sound resigned, because really, there’s no better plugin for community/network-building than BuddyPress. Attempts have been made and failed spectacularly. BuddyPress continues to reign supreme.

It’s feature-packed and free, ‘nuff said.

This plugin packs practically everything you would need, and more, for creation and management of communities: Member profiles, Activity feeds, User groups, Messages, etc. And that’s just the beginning.

With BuddyPress core features as the foundation, you can begin layering more features with BuddyPress-compatible plugins to add even more configuration options and variety on top of your user-network.

Recommended: Start with W3 Total Cache (Check it out here) and work your way up as needed.

2. bbPress

bbPress

Price: Free (licensed GPLv2.0 like WordPress.org). Paid ‘extensions’ can be found as regular WordPress plugins (“bbPress compatible”)

Available at: WordPress Plugin Repository

bbPress is like a skinny, lanky Loki to BuddyPress’ Thor.

This plugin is another one that started or ended up being adopted by Mullenweg and co. (like WooCommerce in 2015). Regardless, the core plugin on its own is light, easy to setup and integrate, and highly extensible with other WordPress plugins and bbPress add-ons.

The plugin only adds basic forum functionality to your website. But with creative customization and crafty themes, it will work for all sorts of visual ambiance. Case in Point: Support forums for WPMU-DEV, Woothemes, and dev4press.

3. Sabai Discuss Plugin for WordPress

Sabai Discuss plugin for WordPress

Price: $23

Available at: Code Canyon

This is one of the best-selling WordPress forum plugins on Code Canyon.

Sabai adds extremely filterable and easy to navigate ‘discussions’ and ‘Question and Answers’ streams to your website. It lets you create custom fields (for the search filters), and has a visual form editor to create the search forms. It comes with 9 widgets, 10 email notification templates, and more.

Design tinkering-capabilities aside, the plugin itself is pretty smart. It has code snippet highlighting, ‘featured’, ‘flagging’ (for spam moderation) and ‘favorite’ Q&A, Role/Reputation-based access system, and more. Think Stack Overflow, focused on you.

The fact that it is also translatable and supports RTL is no surprise (good plugins and themes do that), but it sure cements the faith in the plugin. It uses JavaScript responsibly (for improved interactivity) and needs no FTP connection to update.

Plugins like these make me happy. They pose fewer problems for users to fret over later. The only damper comes from the fact that it is probably late for an update, but if you are a web development company that knows what it’s doing, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

4. WP Pro Forum System

WP Pro Forum System

Price: $21

Available at: Code Canyon

Another easy-forum plugin and it’s so shiny you can almost hear it.

Pro Forum highlights code snippets, lets registered (to your website) users create topics, replies, and comments using the TinyMCE editor WordPress packs as default (improved with some shortcodes). The topics can be made sticky (for when certain topics come up all the time).

Users can add/upload images, set access permissions on their content (Privacy). It works well with your theme and can be further customized easily.

It’s a lovely, no-nonsense plugin that sticks to the necessary and drowns the rest.

5. DW Question & Answer

DW Question & Answer

Price: Free core plugin. Free and paid add-ons (optional)

Available at: WordPress Plugin Repository

The best things in life are free. This plugin is (mostly) one of them.

DW’s Q&A plugin covers all the basics and goes the extra mile too. Users create, edit, and delete questions, moderators order/delete them. Everyone can search using the thorough filters. There is a voting feature (best answer), content privacy (depends on user submitting the question), sticky discussions, ‘follow’ discussions, et al.

It supports CAPTCHA and at least 11 languages. It has email notification system. There is a free add-on that enables Embed question and Social Sharing, which is perfect.

The entire plugin is like a beautifully decorated suite with furniture choices available. You can work those in as desired.

Endnote

There are more, and there will be more community and forum plugins since the trend is taking hold. The plugins mentioned here are in no way latest, but they are coded for efficiency and they are reliable.
That’s all you need from a good plugin really.

What is the Difference between a Responsive Website and an App?

What is the Difference between a Responsive Website and an App?

The ceaseless evolution of smartphones, the launch of new mobile operating systems on a daily basis, a variety of options for mobile applications and high-speed internet connection have certainly changed the way people use their smartphones. According to Cisco’s recent report, the usage of smartphones has grown up to 7.4 billion. Today, people prefer to use their smartphones to access the internet and thus, insisting companies to move their focus to “Mobile first, Desktop second” tactic to increase their traffic and conversions. (more…)

Best Genesis Child Themes For WooCommerce

Best Genesis Child Themes For WooCommerce

Child Themes For WooCommerce

Clean and efficient code is crucial for making a WordPress site load faster. Especially, when you’re running an online shop, it’s imperative that visitors can load the web pages as quickly as possible. One best way to achieve such an objective is to make use of a theme framework for WordPress such as Genesis.

The Genesis framework helps offer child themes that are specially designed for fast loading sites. Also, most of the themes are compatible with the WooCommerce plugin, which helps in incorporating better e-commerce functionality into your site.

Here’s a list of some excellent Genesis Child Themes ideal to be used for creating WooCommerce powered e-shop:

Jessica

If you want a flexible, mobile responsive and HTML coded theme suited for creating a child theme in WooCommerce, then you should give the Jessica e-commerce theme a try. Designed by Web Savvy Marketing, the theme helps in building an e-commerce site, by helping you pick WooCommerce, iThemes Exchange, and WP e-Commerce plugins.

Key Features:

  • Dedicated section for displaying advertisements, widgets or text

  • Social media integration

  • Help add product review, ratings, categories

  • Fee shipping option and more.

Cost: $59.95

AyoShop

A clean and elegantly designed theme, AyoShop is perfect for building any online shop – be it clothing, jewelry, or some other shop. It’s a free theme created by Designmodo.com – that provide support for styled child themes. The great aspect of AyoShop is that it is simple to use and does not contain any bloat.

Key Features:

  • It comes loaded with all of the Genesis Framework features.

  • It is WooCommerce ready

  • Features a responsive layout that can be tested using the Opera mobile emulator.

  • Access to AyoShop’s documentation is available online and much more.

Cost: Free (however you need to subscribe to designmodo)

Clip Cart

Do you want to build a WooCommerce ready child theme inspired by Apple’s iPhone 4S design? Well, then look no further than Clip Cart. It boasts a professional and future-proof responsive designs for the modern mobile platforms like iPhone, iPad, and others. Clip Cart helps in integrating shopping cart functionality via Cart66/Cart66 Cloud plugins.

Key Features:

  • Comes with a highly customized front page template.

  • It works across all the major browsers

  • Offers comprehensive documentation and great forum support

  • Contains custom shortcodes and so on.

Cost: $69

 Daily Dish

In case, you specifically need to build a food-related site on WooCommerce, then Daily Dish is exactly what you need. It has been developed for users who seek to make use of a clean and new design for putting up a food website. But, another great thing about Daily Dish is that it can also be customized for creating a non-food blog. This theme is the perfect example of setting up a site with balanced white space and elements – that helps make your content easily stand out.

Key Features:

  • It includes several widget-ready areas

  • Offers plenty of different page templates.

Cost: $99.95

 Brutal

Another great modern style child theme suitable for building an e-commerce site and WooCommerce support is Brutal. Created by Zigzagpress, the theme provides (optional) animation-style effects – that will allow your visitors to scroll down the homepage. You can use Brutal for building almost any site, ranging from corporate, marketing, to a portfolio and many other websites.

Key Features:

  • The theme is mobile ready and adapts beautifully to any device screen size

  • It is localization ready

  • It comes with theme options panel

  • It comes loaded with Genesis SEO options and features.

Cost: $49

 Vanish

Last in our list of Genesis child themes is Vanish. The theme provides complete support for the WooCommerce plugin, helping you develop a WordPress online shop that allows selling products and services online. Vanish theme is a must-have for people who wish to create a visually alluring online storefront that can have a profound impact on their visitors.

Key Features:

  • It is a fully responsive theme

  • Vanish features minimalistic style, making it an excellent choice for creative projects

  • Impressive typography settings and more.

Cost: $49

Wrapping Up

Using Genesis child themes for building an e-commerce shop will ensure in improving your website speed and performance, which ultimately enhances the users experience. So, here in this post, I’ve tried covering some of the best Genesis child themes suited for building WooCommerce store.

How To Backup Your WordPress Site In The Right Way?

How To Backup Your WordPress Site In The Right Way?

Today, almost every WordPress user realizes the significance of hardening their website security and protecting it from hacker attacks. Possibly, you may already be following several recommended tips and performing essential tasks to keep your WordPress site secure.

But, remember despite the efforts you might make in protecting the site from getting hacked, you can still fail in keeping your site safe from hacks. After all, there isn’t any one-size-fits-all approach that could ensure 100 percent security of your WordPress website.

What if your website security is compromised and its data is stolen? Needless to say, this is something you’ll never want. This is why it is important for you to create a backup of your WordPress site.

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Creating your site’s backup can help you restore all your lost data as well as altered files in no time. This post is written to help WordPress users understand the right way to backup their WordPress site. But, before we delve into the depth of backing up a website let us first have a more detailed view of the need for performing website backup.

Why Must You Perform WordPress Backup Anyways?

Whilst, you can find many different ways to secure your website, all of the security measures falls into one of these two categories: disaster prevention and recovery. Disaster prevention helps your site from attacks and trouble, such avoiding brute force attacks by restriction login attempts, using plugins to monitor your site for spam and so on.

In contrary, disaster recovery comes in handy once your website is attacked. Since there isn’t any fixed solution to ensure complete security of a site from vulnerabilities and hackers, you must search for a way that could help in recovering from an unfavorable situation. For this purpose, you must create a series of backups as it can contribute to restoring your website at any time to its original form.

When it comes to recovering your site using a backup, there are some best practices worth considering. We’ll discuss that in the next section.

Best Practices to Backup Your WordPress Site

1. Understand what all you need to backup and where

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When it comes to creating a backup, many site owners can’t know what all they should backup to keep their site secure and running. Remember that in the worst case scenario, when your site is attacked you can’t determine the damage that will be caused to your site. And so, it’s better to backup all your website files and database. In addition, if possible, keep a backup of your server configuration as well.

Storing your site’s backup on cloud storage helps in saving it on reliable places like Cloudfront, Amazon S3, etc. But, an excellent fail-safe approach to storing your backup requires downloading it to a known location, such as your system’s hard drive.

2. Create a backup of your site’s latest version

We can’t predict when something bad will happen, so it’s imperative that we have a backup of the most recent version of our site. A backup might not be of any value if its a month old. Especially, if your site gets heavy traffic or you upgrade your site quite frequently, make sure to create a backup of the site each day, or after a few hours.

3. Use WordPress Plugins

There are several plugins on the web that serve multiple purposes when it comes to backing up a WordPress site. Below are some of the best backup plugins worth taking a look at:

  • Auto-schedule Your Backup With BackupWordPress

Often at times, we become so engrossed with handling other important website tasks that we forget to create a backup of our site. For that reason, it’s necessary to search for a solution that could schedule the backup automatically. This can be achieved with the help of BackupWordPress plugin.

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The plugin helps in creating a schedule for backing up your website files and database. The only downside to using BackupWordPress plugin is that its free version does not provide cloud storage capability. However, you can attain such functionality by purchasing a premium extension of the plugin.

  • Backup Your Database With WP-DB-Backup

If you’d like to use a plugin that is dedicated to creating a backup of your site’s database, then WP-DB-Backup is worth a try. It makes the process of creating backups of WP site’s database simple and straightforward. Also, it schedules database backup automatically on an hourly and weekly basis.

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One issue with WP-DB-Backup is that it does not help in backing up files. Thus, you’ll need to backup all your files manually.

3. Create a Complete Up-to-date Backup With VaultPress

VaultPress is one of the most commonly used backup plugins – that was founded by WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg along with his team. It helps in creating a backup of the most up-to-date version of your site. If you’re running a large-size website that is updated on a regular basis, then VaultPress is the right plugin for you.

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The plugin not just helps in creating a real-time backup of the WordPress site, but also offer automated scanning, which proves an excellent defense against security threats. However, you’re required to sign-up for VaultPress subscription to make use of the plugin.

Summing Up

With increase in WordPress popularity, the security concern regarding protecting WordPress site from getting attacked is also on a rise. Though there are ways that can keep your website protected against attacks, but despite all your efforts the security of the site still might get compromised. So, the best technique to tackle such a situation is to stay prepared with the backup of your site.

Author Bio :

Sophia likes to develop WordPress websites and earns her daily bread from the same. She likes to stay abreast with the latest tech advancements and also wishes to contribute to the same. For those who are looking to hire WordPress developers that can match pace with the competitiveness can count on Sophia Phillips for it.

6 Best CakePHP Based CMS Worth Considering

6 Best CakePHP Based CMS Worth Considering

PHP frameworks have become an integral part of web development projects, as they make the task of application development effortless for developers. Most importantly, the frameworks help speed up the development process. While there are plenty of great PHP frameworks out there, CakePHP happens to be the best choice over other frameworks in terms of rapid application development. (more…)