Manage All Your WordPress Sites With One Tool

To begin, please be sure that you have a WordPress.com account, and that JetPack is installed and connected on your self-hosted web site.

Now, let’s install the Desktop App.

1. First, go to: apps.wordpress.com/desktop/
2. Click the button below where it says Download the App.
3. Find the setup file on your computer, and double-click it.
4. If you get a box asking if you would like the application to be able to make changes to your device, click Yes.
5. Then, click the Install button.
6. Click Finish to launch the app.
7. Now, login with your WordPress.com credentials. If you are an active WordPress.com user, you will be familiar with the interface here, because it’s essentially your WordPress.com account, but on your Desktop. You will initially land in the WordPress Reader app.
8. Click on the My Sites button at the top left. This is where you are able to manage your WordPress.com sites, as well as your JetPack connected self-hosted WordPress web sites.
9. By default, you will be in the Management Panel for your WordPress.com web site if you have one. Click on the Switch Site link to see the web sites that you enabled via JetPack.
10. Here you can add another site if desired, otherwise, click on the site you want to manage.

The options available for web site management include: viewing stats, adding and editing posts and pages, managing and customizing your theme, managing menus, managing plugins and turning on auto-update for plugins that are in the WordPress Plugin Repository, and other WordPress settings. You can also launch the WordPress Admin for your web site if you need to perform other tasks.

Create a Slideshow in WordPress

In order to use the needed shortcode for this demonstration, please be sure that you have a WordPress.com account, and that JetPack is installed on your self-hosted web site, and connected to your WordPress.com account. JetPack is the tool that provides the Presentations shortcode we will be working with.

OK, with JetPack enabled, let’s turn on the extra shortcodes.

From your WordPress Dashboard, click JetPack, then Settings.
Click the Writing link across the top.
Turn on Shortcode Embeds.
When creating your Slideshow or Presentation, it will consist of various slides for which you can configure each slides transition, rotation, scale, fade, and background. Backgrounds can be images or colors. Use colors if you want to type the text for each slide.

The default transition is down. I will be leaving the default for this demonstration. Other values include: right, up, left, and none. I will not be using the rotation and scale properties in this example. Fading between slides is the default behaviour. I won’t be adjusting that for this Presentation.

In this example I will include 5 slides as background images.

Let’s begin.

From you WordPress Dashboard, go to Posts, then open the Post Editor for a new or existing post.
Switch to Text view to prevent the Visual Editor from making changes to the codes you type.
Start with an opening and closing “presentation” shortcode. Type an open square bracket, then the word presentation, then a closing square bracket. Press Enter twice, then open a square bracket, then type a slash, then the word presentation, then a closing square bracket.
Now, go back inside the opening of the presentation shortcode to set the size and transition duration for each slide.
Just after the word presentation, put a space, then type width equals 600, then a space, then height equals 375, then a space, then duration equals 5.
Save the post. We will come back to it in a second.
With 5 images ready to be used in the Slideshow, let’s now upload them to the WordPress Media Library.

1. From your WordPress Dashboard, click on Media, then Add New. If you right click the Add New link, you can open it in a new Tab in most browsers.
2. Click the Select Files button.
3. Locate the images on your computer, select them, and click Open. Using Ctrl+click allows you to select multiple files to upload at once.
4. Now we will need the URLs of the images. Click the Edit link next to the first image. It will open in a new Tab. Copy the File URL to a text document. Close the Tab.
5. Do the same for the remaining images.
6. Go back to your post.
7. In between the Presentation shortcode, create slide shortcodes for each image. Type an open square bracket, then the word slide, then a space, then bgimg equals open quotes, then paste in the image URL, then close the quotes, then close the square bracket. Now close the slide shortcode by typing an opening square bracket, a slash, the word slide, then a closing square bracket. 8. Press Enter. Then repeat for the other images.
Save and View.

Add AdSense to WordPress

In this tutorial, you will learn:

How to verify your web site in your AdSense account.
How to activate Site Authorization to prevent abuse of your AdSense code by sites that don’t belong to you.
How to add automatic placement of AdSense ads for mobile and desktop visitors (called Page-level ads).
How to test AdSense Page-level ads.

To follow along, please be certain that you have an approved AdSense account, and that you have the proper Privacy and Cookie Policy information in place on your web site, as per the Google AdSense policies.

First, let’s verify your site. This is a required step if wanting to use the QuickStart feature. QuickStart allows for the automatic, intelligent, placement of AdSense ads for mobile and desktop visitors to your web site.

To verify your web site, within your Google AdSense account, click on Settings, then click My Sites.
Click the Plus button.
Type in your web site address in the box.
Click Add Site.
At this point you may want to set it up so that *only* your authorized sites can display your AdSense.

Sometimes what happens is, another site will scrape the content of your web site, including your AdSense code, and then add that content to their site.

If that happens, and that site violates any AdSense policies, it’s you that can be affected by it. This step just prevents you from wishing you had done it sooner, if down the line something like this happens.

To setup Site Authorization:
In the Manage Sites area, click the 3 stacked dots on the right side of the page.
Click on Site Authorization.
Turn it on, and click Save.
Now, let’s activate the auto-placement of ads on your web site.

To turn on this feature:
In your AdSense account, go to My Ads, then Page-level Ads.
Turn on one or both of Anchor/overlay ads and Vignette ads, by sliding the sliders.
Open your WordPress Dashboard in a new Tab or Window.
The next step is to get the needed code for your web site to finalize the setup.

Worth noting though, that this code is the same code that newer AdSense users would have needed to add to their web sites during the application process. So, you may already have it in place, and can skip to the Testing section.

Long time users of AdSense did not need to place this code when applying, so these steps will be required.

Also, worth mentioning, is that this exact same code can be used on all pages of all your sites.

For this next step we are going to create a quick plugin to place the AdSense code on all pages of your WordPress web site.

I find that it’s extremely easy and fast to setup a plugin using the Pluginception plugin, so let’s get that installed first.

To install Pluginception, follow these steps:
From within your WordPress Dashboard, click on Plugins, then click Add New.
In the search box, type Pluginception.
Click Install Now.
Click Activate. This will open up a new option within the Plugins menu called Create a New Plugin.
Follow these steps to create your custom plugin:
Click the Create a New Plugin link.
Give the plugin a name such as My Google AdSense Placement Plugin.
Click the Create a Blank Plugin button.
Now, add the code into your plugin that you see in the video, or below these steps if you are following along within the written tutorial.
Switch back to AdSense.
Click the Get Code button.
Copy the code to the Clipboard.
Replace where it says YOUR ADSENSE CODE with the code copied from AdSense in the previous step.
Click the Update File button.
There are two ways to test your work. Let’s do both right now.

Visit your web site from your Desktop or Laptop computer.
Right-click anywhere on the page and click View Source.
Look for the code that you inserted. You can do a find, usually by pressing Ctrl+F and typing adsbygoogle as one word with no spaces.
Now, let’s have a look to see if the ads show in Mobile. Open up a page on your web site with a high-end mobile device in Portrait view (as opposed to Landscape view). Add #googleads to the end of the URL.
Select the ad format that you want to test, then check the results on your device.
For vignettes, click any of the highlighted links on your page to test the ads are working.
If you are having problems displaying ads during testing, be sure to visit Google’s Guide to testing Page-level ads to see why that may be. Do a Google search for “Guide to testing Page-level ads” to find the page.

Tips To Easily Add Google Web fonts To Your WordPress

Having a cool website with amazing content is just part of the many ingredients which will determine how well it is received by your readers and how nice the user experience is.

Another crucial aspect of your website is its typography.

Typography is a term which relates to your site’s fonts and the overall arrangement of the type, or letters and other symbols which make up the words on your web pages.

This includes things like font-family, font size, line height and many other things which determine how the text on your site appears to visitors of your site.

Typography is a skill and art on its own, but every web site owner should at least be aware of what it is and how they can apply it to their own websites.

When you look at a random selection of websites, you will notice that not all share the same type of typography. In particular, different sites use different font families to display their content.

The selection of font family is usually based on the style which the administrator wants to convey for their site but also on the readability of the font too.

One free and handy way to increase your choice of fonts you can apply to your site is to use the vast array of font families available in the Google Web Fonts directory.

In this article I will show you an easy way to add any selection of Google fonts to your WordPress theme via the use of a child theme. The Google fonts you choose to select and how you decide to display them is up to you.

In my example I will be using the WordPress native twentyeleven theme.

Step 1: On your computer, create a new folder for your child theme.

We’ll call it twentyeleven-plus for our example.

This will be the name of our child theme.

Step 2: Inside this folder create a file using a code editor and call it style.css.

This file will represent our child theme.

In the style.css file enter the following code:

/*
Theme Name: twentyeleven-plus
Theme URI: http://yoursitename.com/
Description: Child theme for the Twenty Eleven theme
Author: Your Name
Author URI: http://yoursitename.com/
Template: twentyeleven
Version: 1.0
*/
@import url(“../twentyeleven/style.css”);
.entry-content {
font-family: “Dosis”;
font-size: 16px;
line-height: 25px;
}

The comments representing the first 7 lines and the line with the “@import” statement are the minimum things you need to create a child theme. Therefore in this case we are simply giving the child theme a name, description, version number etc.

The import statement basically allows us to inherit all of the styling from the parent theme’s style.css file.

Now the beauty of child themes is that we can choose to overwrite some of that styling with our own modifications. This brings us to the next 5 lines.

The CSS code you see there for the “.entry-content” class is where we are applying our own customisations for the font of the text in posts and pages.

(Note: We used firebug to determine what the classname is for the text in our post body and in your case if you are using a different theme the classname may also be different. Therefore you are encouraged to do your own investigations with firebug.)

In this code we are instructing our child theme to use the Google font family called “Dosis” for our post body text and in addition we are setting the size of the font and the line-height.

(Note: We just chose this font as an example. You can change this to another font family name if you wish. Just go to the Google Web Fonts directory and copy the name of font but beware to get the exact spelling and case correct.)

Step 3: Create a new file in your child theme folder called functions.php

In order to be able to use the “Dosis” font from the Google font directory on our site we will need to reference this font family in our page’s head section.
There are a few ways to include a Google font family on your web page and one of them is to paste the following line in between your <head> tags:
<link rel=’stylesheet’ href=’http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Dosis’ type=’text/css’ />

But since we have the luxury of using a child theme, we will avoid hacking our theme header.php file and we will use the new file which we created in our child theme folder called functions.php.

Inside the functions.php file, write the following code:

<?php
function load_google_fonts() {
wp_register_style(‘googleWebFonts’, ‘http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Dosis’);
wp_enqueue_style(‘googleWebFonts’);
}
add_action(‘wp_print_styles’, ‘load_google_fonts’);
?>

With the above code we are elegantly using the WordPress “wp_print_styles” hook to register and enqueue the google web font family we need. The end result of this code means that our web page’s <head> tags will all include the reference to the Google font family called “Dosis”.

Handy tip: If you wanted to use more than one Google font then you can easily specify multiple font names by using a pipe character (|) to separate the font names. For example, if we wanted to add “Orienta” and “BenchNine” in addition to “Dosis” we would change the line of code which registers the fonts to the following:

wp_register_style(‘googleWebFonts’, ‘http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Dosis|Orienta|BenchNine’);

Step 4: FTP the child theme folder to the “wp-content/themes/” folder of your WordPress installation.

Step 5: Log into the WP administrator panel and go to the “Appearance->Themes” menu.

You will now be able to see your new twenty-eleven child theme which in our case is called twentyeleven-plus.

Click on the “Activate” link to activate your new child theme as shown below:

And you’re done!

Now when you view your site’s posts or pages you will see that the new “Dosis” font is being used instead of the default theme font which was “Helvetica Neue”.

See the following figures for a before and after comparison.

Tips To Effectively Use the Color Red

This article is a continuation of the color, theme and design tips article series that I have been covering on this site. You may want to read the following two articles first (if you haven’t done so already)

Color psychology and how it affects your site
Color theory tips
In this article I talk about designing with the color RED and how to effectively use it on your site. I will cover the following topics.

What the color red means and how it affects the viewer both positively and negatively
Why you should use the color red
Examples on how to use the color red effectively
Best site to use the color red for.
Red is a very bold and powerful color. You can use red to evoke an array of emotions depending on the context the color is used in. Red represents the most physical color in the color spectrum.

First I will start with a little information on how color is perceived and recognized.

Color Recognition and Perception
Color recognition and perception is based on learned information from a multitude of sources:

Individual
Experienced
Social
Cultural traditions
Environmental surroundings
Formal teaching
Each person perceives color differently and this perception depends on the associations the brain has made for that color. Each individual holds in memory a personal “picture” of the meaning of each color name.

Most perception occurs unconsciously and at a high speed so they seem simultaneous with sensation.

What the color red means and the effects it has on the viewer
Red is the most dominant color and will always draw your attention when it is present.

The color red physically activates the adrenaline gland to fire up the body and senses. Red has been deeply integrated in the human brain as a signal to act, re-act or flee.

It can also command us to stop and encourage movement.

Here are some effects red can have on your viewers:

Positive effects of red

Powerful
Attention Getting
Love
Excitement
Sexy
Enthusiasm
Motivating
Impulsive
Negative effects of red

Aggressive
Anger
Immorality
Violent
Antagonistic
Temperamental
Danger
Using a color does not mean that the positive or negative effects will be evoked in the viewer, this all depends on the context the color is used in and how the viewer processes the color.

Why use the color red
You should use the color red because it is an attention getter, sensual and sexy. The saying SEX SELLS is one of the best ways to explain why you should use the color red. Red is seen as the most sexual and sensual color. Red can muscle through all the other colors to grab the viewer’s attention.

How to effectively use the color red
Red is a bold strong color and the most effective way to use this color is in small amounts.

Here are some effective ways to use the color red.

Website Design:

A red button to draw your viewers attention so they are more likely to click that button
A red arrow pointing out a button or other object you want the viewer to see
A note, warning or instruction you need the viewer to read
To make something important stand out
Special offers
Sale prices
To create passion or strong emotional reactions to a subject
Graphic/Interior Design:

To draw the eye away from a flaw you can not change in the design
To make something standout like a logo or statement piece
To warm up a project or room
To add a sexy or sensual mood to a project
To create passion or strong emotional reactions to a project or design element
Other Ways to Use the Color Red:

To stimulate the appetite this is great for restaurants or food sites. If you think about it, how many restaurants do you know that have red in their logo or design? You will find most of them do, this is because it stimulates your appetite when you see the color red in relation to food.
Best Types of Sites to Use the Color Red
There are certain types of sites that you can use larger amounts of RED to get a positive and effective reaction from a viewer.

Dating and relationship sites – Reds (especially deep reds) and pinks are great for these types of sites. They evoke the emotion of love, passion and romance.
Fitness and exercise sites – Red gets your heart rate up and can encourage and motivate you.
Food site – As I explained above, red stimulates your appetite. This has a good change to increase your food product sales or restaurant bookings. It is proven that if you shop for groceries while hungry you will buy more food than you intended to.
Sites selling make-up or beauty products – Red is a very dominant color in make-up and beauty products as it is synonymous with sexy.
Red is a very powerful color especially when it is used properly. Remember too much red can be over stimulating and cause strong feelings either positive or negative. Pink is a great substitute for red and still has many of the same affects on the viewer.

Create an Attractive Subscribe & Follow Box

Your WordPress blog isn’t the only place that you should be adding fresh content to. It’s important these days to also add new content to social networks as well.

Most of the time, webmasters create profiles and pages on social sites that are specific to just one web site (or niche that they are in). Each social site may have a specific content type that is to be shared. For example Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest profiles are loaded with images, and YouTube channels contain videos.

Or other times, webmasters may just be sharing the content from their site. Either way, as mentioned, it’s important to have a presence in many or all of the top social sites. More than just a presence, it’s also important to stay engaged on these sites. But that’s not what this article is about. In this article I want to provide the way in which I add links to all social profiles from my site, and supply all the code (and icon sources) for doing so, so that you can do the same.

subscribe and follow box example

Depending on your niche or what your web site is about, I’d say the main social sites to look at are: Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. There are probably others that make sense to your site and niche. I also add icons that link to my RSS feed and email subscription pages.

Subscribe and Follow Box Creation Video Tutorial
Subscribe and Follow Box Creation Steps
1. Let’s Start By Downloading Free Icons To Use To Represent The Profiles
It’s boring to just use plain text links, so I’m going to show you how to create a nice strip of icons to represent your social circles that we can fit nicely within a standard Text and HTML widget in the sidebar of your WordPress blog.

There are web sites that have free icon sets that can be used for your site. Designers have been busy getting creative with new looks for the logos and icons for these social sites. I use an icon search engine site called IconFinder.com. Unless you want to pay, be sure to turn the “free” filter on when doing your search.

Be sure to get icons ready for all the sites that you want to link out to. Try and match the look and feel if you are concerned about aesthetics. Plus, getting them to be the same size (especially the same height) is important. The ones that I use are 32 pixels by 32 pixels which are a standard size and look great on my site.

Visit this link to do your icon search.
Choose the “free” filter and optionally select the “For commercial use (no backlink)” choice.
Click the “look” that you like, then download the set to your computer.
Upload the images to a folder on your server. I chose “/images/social/” to upload mine to. Make note of the path to each one because we will be using it in the code later on.

2. Place The CSS For The Subscription Icons
Check for an “Edit CSS” link under “Appearance” in your WordPress dashboard. If it’s there, you have a cool theme like me. If not, your theme is probably still cool but we have to do it a different way. I just like the CSS editor (under “Edit CSS”) because it points out errors and tidies up the code.

If you don’t have it, click “Appearance” and then “Editor.” You will be on the main stylesheet by default. You may need to modify that file to add the following CSS. If you scroll down and look at the bottom right, you may see a “custom stylesheet.” If so, use that instead.

Now, place the following CSS wherever appropriate based on what was discussed above.

.side-sub-follow {
margin: 0;
padding: 5px;
}

.side-sub-follow .fb {
float: left;
margin: 0 3px 0 0;
background: url(http://website-example.com/images/social/facebook2.png) no-repeat 0 0;
width: 32px;
height: 32px;
}

.side-sub-follow .yt {
float: left;
margin: 0 3px 0 0;
background: url(http://website-example.com/images/social/youtube33x33.png) no-repeat 0 0;
width: 32px;
height: 32px;
}

.side-sub-follow .gp {
float: left;
margin: 0 3px 0 0;
background: url(http://website-example.com/images/social/googleplus1.png) no-repeat 0 0;
width: 32px;
height: 32px;
}

.side-sub-follow .tw {
float: left;
margin: 0 3px 0 0;
background: url(http://website-example.com/images/social/twitter33x33.png) no-repeat 0 0;
width: 32px;
height: 32px;
}

.side-sub-follow .em {
float: left;
margin: 0 3px 0 0;
background: url(http://website-example.com/images/social/email_open.png) no-repeat 0 0;
width: 32px;
height: 32px;
}

.side-sub-follow .rss {
float: left;
margin: 0 3px 0 0;
background: url(http://website-example.com/images/social/rss33x33.png) no-repeat 0 0;
width: 32px;
height: 32px;
}

.ss-clearer {
clear: both;
line-height: 0!important;
font-size: 0!important;
height: 0!important;
}
In the code above you will see many similar “chunks” of CSS. There is one for each social profile that we want to link to. It should be obvious by the name of the CSS class and the name of the image what social site (or icon type) it is defining. You can name the classes whatever you like, just as long as they match up with the HTML code that we place in the text widget later.

Of course, you may need to add or remove some classes to represent the list of profiles you plan to link out to. And naturally you will have to modify the path to the icons, plus modify the width and height values for each if necessary.

The “ss-clearer” class is just used to maintain proper whitespace around the set of icons.

3. Adding The HTML Into A Sidebar Widget Is The Next Step In The Process
Once you have the CSS code in place and saved, we can now move on to adding the HTML into a text widget.

Head over to “Appearance” and then “Widgets.” Drag and drop a text widget into place. In my theme I have a section called “Primary Sidebar” where I placed mine. Your theme will likely differ in what it is called. If you aren’t sure where the text widget appears on your site, then just place it, add some dummy text, click the “Save” button, and then visit (or refresh) the site to see.

Add a title. I use “Subscribe & Follow.” Then place the HTML below, making sure to modify it for your needs. Note that just because it is called a “text” widget, HTML will also work. You’ll see that you can include “Arbitrary text or HTML” within the widget.

<div class=”side-social”>
<p><a href=”https://www.facebook.com/page-name” target=”_blank” class=”fb”></a></p>
<p><a href=”http://www.youtube.com/user/account-name” target=”_blank” class=”yt”></a></p>
<p><a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/1111111111111111111/posts” target=”_blank” class=”gp”></a></p>
<p><a href=”https://twitter.com/twit-name” target=”_blank” class=”tw”></a></p>
<p><a href=”http://www.website-example.com/subscribe/” target=”_blank” class=”em”></a></p>
<p><a href=”http://www.website-example.com/feed/” target=”_blank” class=”rss”></a></p>
<p><br class=”ss-clearer”></p>
</div>

As you can see, I used class names that match exactly with the ones used in the CSS code in the previous step. This makes it so the browser knows the path to the images that are to be used and how they are to be displayed, etc.

You also want to be sure to modify the URLs to match those for your profiles and pages on the social sites. Plus of course you want to add and remove “code chunks” to reflect the social sites that you want to link out to.

It’s common to place these in the sidebar and widgets are a very easy way to make that happen, but you can also place them in other widget locations. On one of my sites, I include them in the footer widget area for example.

Troubleshooting The Subcribe And Follow Box
I find it easiest just adding one icon at a time. I will first place the CSS and then add the HTML. After testing and everything looks correct, I will move onto another icon. This makes it so that there is less code to “break.” Forgetting to close just one HTML tag can make the entire page look messed up, especially when using “div” tags. Therefore working with just one chunk of code at a time can make troubleshooting easier.

If you find that things just aren’t showing up regardless of what modifications you are making, it might have to do with caching or storing “static” files on a content delivery network.

For the most part, CSS files aren’t modified. They certainly aren’t modified regularly so they are cached often. Caching means that the assumed version of the file will be used to prevent reloading it for every page request. Until a certain event occurs, like manually clearing the cache, or a certain time frame is reached, the “old” CSS file will be used. If you are using a caching plugin, you can either wait it out or clear the cache. Pressing Ctrl+F5 might also force a hard refresh of the web page.

Another thing that might be going on is the CSS file is spread across a content delivery network. What this means is that an old version of the file is being used and is being loaded from a server close to your geographic location. You may already know this because you set it up. At any rate, it might take a few minutes for the CDN to get the updated version. This can be aggravating when making multiple changes. You might be able to login to your CDN and force an update of specific files with the click of a button. Check to see. It’s one extra step but when you get in the rythm it should be fine.

When all is said and done, you should have a nice strip of icons in your WordPress sidebar allowing people to subscribe and follow you on the web.

Know More About Yoast SEO

WordPress is famous for being well designed for SEO right out of the box. All of its features and functions have been built to guide search engines through every post, page and category of your site, so it’s not absolutely essential to install third-party SEO plugins for your sites to rank well.
Though search engines have no difficulty dealing with WordPress sites, users who are serious about SEO often still turn to popular, highly-rated plugins in an effort to supercharge their results. And with over one million active installs, Yoast SEO is the leading plugin on the market.
Yoast SEO is a powerful option, but do users really need all those options to deliver effective SEO, or can they achieve similar results with simpler plugins?
That’s the question we’ll be covering in depth in this article. Let’s start with some basics.
Getting to Grips with SEO

Getting SEO ‘right’ obviously makes an enormous difference to your site’s chances of success, but it’s by no means straightforward. Any WordPress user who’s made it past the beginner stages will know all too well just how involved things can become when you start getting serious about SEO. It’s a moving target; tips and techniques that work one year can fall radically out of favor the next, depending on both trends and the whims of Google.
It’s also worryingly easy to come across outdated or generally dubious advice about SEO while browsing the web, so it’s worth your while getting your head around the basics to avoid getting led down the garden path. Google’s very own SEO starter guide and Moz’s beginner’s guide to SEO are two excellent resources to start with for familiarizing yourself with legitimate best practices. You should also consult our recent piece on SEO myths to further clarify things in your head.
Make your way through the resources above and you’ll soon realize that the core set of on-site factors you need to take care of is relatively limited: page titles, descriptions, URLs, navigation, content quality, anchor text, image optimization, correct use of headings and tags are among the main ones.
WordPress plugins that help with these areas while taking both the guesswork and time-sucking drudgery out of the process are worth looking into.
Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast SEO provides handy options for dealing with page titles, descriptions, and URLs and we’ll be concentrating on these areas for the purposes of comparing it with other plugins. It also adds integration options for major social networks, but we won’t be dwelling too much on that as there are any number of dedicated social plugins that can handle that side of things better.
The other two main standout features of Yoast SEO are XML sitemap generation and URL redirects – the latter being a premium feature. Again, there are dedicated plugin solutions available to handle both of these requirements but they’re certainly pretty handy to have available in an SEO context. We’ll cover options for these as well.
Before we get into our comparisons, it’s worth mentioning that all themes available from Elegant Themes come with a built-in SEO section in the theme options settings which can be a great alternative to using plugins if you’re comfortable enough with using custom fields.
When you navigate to your ePanel, just click on the SEO tab to enable or disable custom SEO settings for your homepage, single post pages, and index page:
Elegant Themes ePanel access.
Let’s move on to looking at how Yoast SEO’s major features stack up in terms of hitting the sections we’ve identified above, and how well it compares to competing solutions these days.
Comparing On-Page SEO Options

Though it’s the best known, Yoast isn’t the only powerful SEO plugin that gives you control over optimizing your individual posts and pages. We’ll be comparing it to three other popular SEO plugins in this article: All in One SEO Pack, SEO Ultimate, and Squirrly SEO.
Each of these plugins has a general configuration section that can be accessed through the plugin’s Settings panel in the WordPress admin area. They also all offer a range of fields and options when composing or editing posts and pages. We’ll start with an overview of what Yoast offers, then look at the comparable sections or options for each of the other three plugins.
Yoast SEO for Posts and Pages
Yoast’s General Settings tab serves as a starter page where you can check out their resource listings, set up some personal information, and integrate different webmaster tools such as Google Search Console.

To access the fields where you can customize your on-page SEO, you have to navigate to the Titles & Metas tab where you’ll find tons of customization options for the homepage, post types, taxonomies, and archives. Each section is nicely organized in tabs with title templates, meta description templates, and several other options for each major page type.
Yoast SEO settings.
Yoast also includes customizable options that appear beneath every page and post editor which forcefully remind you to choose a keyword and encourage its use in the heading, page title, URL, content, and meta description of your posts or pages. You can also switch through the tabs to get a page analysis, customize some advanced robots.txt settings, and specify what information you want social networks to use.
All in One SEO Pack for Posts and Pages

All in One SEO plugin.
All in One SEO Pack offers comparable settings to Yoast’s Titles & Metas tab in its General Settings tab. Rather than using tabs to separate each section, All in One SEO Pack has it all laid out on one page. Just scroll down and you’re able to customize everything from your home page settings to your custom post type settings.
Like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack includes an SEO section beneath every page and post editor too – although minus some of the more advanced tabs Yoast SEO offers. For example, it doesn’t give you a count of how many times you used your keyword throughout the content of your page or post – one of the big highlight features of the Yoast option.
Being the full-feature plugin that it is, Yoast offers a lot more options compared to what you can do with All in One SEO, but that may not matter if you don’t plan on using them. The keyword counter and snippet preview features that come with Yoast are still big pluses though and not having them is a loss.
You can also check out this detailed comparison post to get a clearer picture of how they stack up head to head.
SEO Ultimate for Posts and Pages

SEO Ultimate plugin.
SEO Ultimate is more advanced than All in One SEO Pack and a stronger direct competitor to Yoast SEO. Instead of having a general tab with all the main settings, the plugin adds a handy link to the admin bar that you can access everything from. Roll your mouse over it and you’ll see 25 different features split out into individual tabs.
Beneath the post and page editor options, SEO Ultimate keeps things simple by adding straightforward sections you can fill out for your search engine listing, social networks listing, links and other miscellaneous options. Although the plugin itself has some useful keyword research features built right into it, it doesn’t have any keyword fields, counters, or page analysis features as Yoast SEO does.
Both Yoast SEO and SEO Ultimate offer a generous range of useful features, yet each one provides quite a different experience when you’re actually using it. For example, the Deeplink Juggernaut feature SEO Ultimate offers – which helps intelligently link your content based on keywords – may put the plugin out in front if that’s a priority for you. It also offers some useful social media options that Yoast doesn’t have, like its Rich Snippet Creator and Social Network Listing feature.

You could possibly use both plugins together if it’s too hard to choose, as long as you make sure to disable the SEO Ultimate modules that may conflict with Yoast.
Squirrly SEO for Posts and Pages

SEo Squirrly plugin.
Squirrly SEO is a free plugin offered by content marketing software provider Squirrly. It’s become quite a popular option – particularly for beginners – and has even been recommended by Kissmetrics co-founder Neil Patel.
Unlike Yoast and a lot of other SEO plugins, Squirrly SEO is a very visual plugin that seeks to simplify the world of SEO and carefully guide users through everything step by step (which may be helpful if you have less experienced users or clients).

Squirrly SEO includes slideshows for all of its main features on its Dashboard tab and does a great job in guiding users through available options. Navigate to its SEO and Settings tabs and you’ll see that there’s not a huge amount of customizable settings available, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing when you’re looking to concentrate on the essentials.
When you edit any post or page, a bunch of very prominent Squirrly options immediately appear in the right sidebar. You’re automatically asked to enter a keyword so that the Squirrly SEO Live Assistant can tell you how your keyword is being used throughout your content in an easy to understand way: anything colored green is good to go, anything left white hasn’t been set up yet, and anything colored red needs to be fixed.
Squirrly SEO is clearly geared toward newbie users and performs admirably in that context – SEO experts may find themselves needing a little more control.
Social Optimization

SEO is critically important, but there’s no ignoring social media these days either. Making sure that your titles, descriptions, and feature images look great when shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and other platforms is essential if you want to drive traffic through social promotion.
Yoast SEO’s Social tab enables users to inform Google of their social profiles and integrate their site with major social platforms by enabling Facebook Open Graph, setting up Twitter Cards, and adding Pinterest verification and Google+ specific post meta data. That’s more than enough for most users but there are dedicated plugins out there if you want to dive deeper.
Since we’re on the subject, here are three options you can consider as alternatives to Yoast’s social optimization features.
1. Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags
Facebook Open Graph plugin.
This plugin claims to be compatible with Yoast SEO, so you can use it as an additional social plugin if you want more options like including (or excluding) Open Graph tags and choosing a default feature image if the post doesn’t have one. Yoast has useful basic set-up options for both, but this plugin offers more settings that you can enable and disable for even more effective and efficient sharing results.
2. WordPress Social Sharing Optimization
WordPress Social Sharing Optimization plugin.
This plugin gives users complete control over the information provided to social networking crawlers, including Facebook, Google+ Twitter, Pinterest and others. In addition to basic meta tag support for Open Graph, Rich Pins, and Twitter Cards, this plugin will blow you away in terms of all the configurable and customizable options it provides. It should also play nicely when used in conjunction with Yoast SEO.
3. The Official Twitter Plugin
Twitter plugin
Not only does the official Twitter plugin enable you to integrate Twitter Cards with your site for more media-rich tweets – it also enables users to embed Twitter content and Vine videos easily, with the added bonus of having Twitter buttons built right into the plugin itself. If you heavily rely on Twitter for content promotion, this plugin may be more useful than the basic Card style option Yoast SEO offers in its Twitter tab.
XML Sitemaps

An XML sitemap makes it easier for Google to discover the pages on your site, including pages that may not be as easily discoverable by Google’s standard crawling process.
Yoast’s XML Sitemaps tab enables users to generate a sitemap which is automatically updated any time a new post or page is published. It also enables users to specify post types, individual posts, or taxonomies that should be excluded.
XML Sitemap plugin.
As an alternative to Yoast SEO’s sitemap feature, Google XML Sitemaps is one of the highest rated XML sitemap plugins and has been going strong for over nine years. It gives users even more control over their sitemaps, specifically in terms of setting up post priority and change frequencies. Users can also add specific files or URLs to be included in their sitemaps that don’t belong to their WordPress site.
Yoast Premium Features

We’ve looked at some interesting plugin options you can use to match the main features of the free version of the Yoast SEO plugin but there are also the premium features (starting at $89 for a single site) to consider. Even if you’re sticking with the free version of Yoast SEO, it’s worth looking at other free plugins that may be able to replace its premium features.
URL Redirects
If you have broken links and old pages that need to point to newer pages, you’re going to want to use a redirect tool to stay on Google’s good side. Yoast SEO offers a redirect manager as a premium feature that integrates directly with Google Search Console. If you run a big commercial site with lots of pages that require quite a bit of maintenance, the premium upgrade to get this redirect feature could easily pay for itself in terms of the time it will save you.
If you’re just looking to simply clean up a few of your URLs, Redirection is a popular free plugin that makes it easy to manage 301 redirects and keep track of 404 errors. It’s easy to use and best suited for smaller sites that need a quick and effective tool for tidying things up.
Video SEO
How cool would it be if the videos that you posted on your site showed up directly in Google search results? Yoast SEO’s premium video extension claims to do just that but, as with any SEO topic, there are naturally caveats to consider here.
It doesn’t look like there are any other WordPress plugins out there that offer this. While the official YouTube plugin is quite popular, its focus is on embedding YouTube videos in WordPress.
News SEO
Ranking in search for news is different than ranking for evergreen topics, meaning those who manage news sites may need a different approach. Yoast offers a news extension that creates XML News Sitemaps and editors picks RSS feeds to stand out for Google News.
XML Sitemap & Google News feeds may be a possible alternative plugin for news sites and has attracted some decent reviews from users attracted by its simplicity.
Local SEO
Business sites that target visitors from a specific geographical area have to make sure they tell Google the right location-specific information if they want a chance at a top spot ranking. Yoast SEO’s local plugin claims to help sites optimize this aspect of their information so they can rank better in their local results, and in Google Maps.
Local SEO and Business Listings is one free option if you’re not prepared to shell out for Yoast’s premium package. Its core plugin functionality includes local SEO road maps, a keyword research tool, a competitor keyword spy tool, suggested content submission websites, and a proprietary keyword effectiveness index.
Other Optimization Plugins to Consider

Yoast SEO offers a ton of SEO features but certainly doesn’t encompass everything you can do to optimize your site. For example, you’ll want to do everything you can to improve your site’s loading time since speed is a ranking factor.

Add Meta Boxes to Provide Extra Content

I started a new blog several months back and I wanted to include extra boxes on the WordPress edit/add post screen to provide extra “behind the scenes” data.

More specifically I started to learn more about how meta tags (HTML elements that aren’t shown in the browser unless “viewing source”) can influence what is shown when a web page is shared to social networks like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, and on search engines.

Wanting to control each aspect of the sharing for each site, I decided to create the necessary fields to allow me to do that on a post-by-post basis.

Examples of Meta Tags and Open Graph Tags
There are elements in HTML called “open graph tags” and when used will be the first place specific web sites, like Facebook and Google+, will look to learn about the content (rather than guessing).

A few examples of these tags include: og:title, og:image, and og:description. When included in between the “head” HTML tags of a web page, sites (Facebook for example) will use the values when the URL to the web page is shared.

There are also Twitter-specific meta tags that can be added to create media rich Twitter cards when the URL is shared.

Here’s how the Facebook Open Graphs would look within the HTML code when viewing the behind the scenes (or source) code:

<meta content=”This is the Open Graph or Facebook specific title” />
<meta content=”http://web-site-example.com/images/example-image.png” />
<meta name=”description” content=”This is the Open Graph or Facebook specific description” />
So, what’s the point? If you want to have the ability to a) explicitly tell Facebook what data to use when displaying your content so it doesn’t guess which can be embarassing especially when it uses an ad image as the image, and b) have more control over your call to action, etc. when your content is shared throughout Facebook (or Twitter, etc. – whatever the case may be).

Creating the Boxes to Add the Extra Data Into WordPress Posts
Now, this post isn’t about sharing content to Facebook or Google+, it’s about adding the Meta boxes to posts to provide extra data, so I don’t want to pigeon hole this idea for just the “social sharing” concept.

I just wanted to provide an example of one purpose that they could be used for. Meta boxes are the foundation of why many plugins are built, and they also exist for many themes. Really, they just provide a way to include extra data for posts (and pages in some cases). Custom post types are borne from them.

In this example I will show you how to include one panel with one text box to add a value. Then I will explain how to retrieve that information within a template file. The code can be modified to include more than one text box (or other form element) to add to the functionality. It’s easier to just start with one and you could work up from there.

Here’s the code which can be placed in the functions.php file to create a box beneath the post edit and add screens:

<?php
add_action( ‘add_meta_boxes’, ‘m_param_meta_box_add’ );
function m_param_meta_box_add() {
add_meta_box( ‘m_param_post’, ‘Box Title’, ‘m_param_post_meta_box_cb’, ‘post’, ‘normal’, ‘high’ );
}

function m_param_post_meta_box_cb( $post )
{
$values = get_post_custom( $post->ID );
if ( isset( $values[‘m_meta_description’] ) ) {
$m_meta_description_text = esc_attr( $values[‘m_meta_description’][0] );
}
wp_nonce_field( ‘my_meta_box_nonce’, ‘meta_box_nonce’ );

?>
<table class=”form-table”>
<tr valign=”top”>
<th scope=”row”><label for=”m_meta_description”>Meta Description (max 160)</label></th>
<td><textarea rows=”5″ cols=”100″ name=”m_meta_description”><?php echo $m_meta_description_text; ?></textarea></td>
</tr>
</table>

<?php
} // close m_param_post_meta_box_cb function

add_action( ‘save_post’, ‘cd_meta_box_save’ );
function cd_meta_box_save( $post_id )
{
// Bail if we’re doing an auto save
if( defined( ‘DOING_AUTOSAVE’ ) && DOING_AUTOSAVE ) return;

// if our nonce isn’t there, or we can’t verify it, bail
if( !isset( $_POST[‘meta_box_nonce’] ) || !wp_verify_nonce( $_POST[‘meta_box_nonce’], ‘my_meta_box_nonce’ ) ) return;

// if our current user can’t edit this post, bail
if( !current_user_can( ‘edit_post’ ) ) return;

// Make sure your data is set before trying to save it
if( isset( $_POST[‘m_meta_description’] ) ) {
update_post_meta( $post_id, ‘m_meta_description’, wp_kses( $_POST[‘m_meta_description’], $allowed ) );
}
}
?>
In the above code, you would change “Box Title” to name the box that all your custom fields will be encased in.

I created a custom field called “m_meta_description” so you can duplicate/modify that as desired.

Then I created an HTML table to display the multi-line text box for the input of the “meta description.” Of course, other form elements can be used. A single line text box can be easily swapped in the above code for example.

Ultimately we save the custom values when the post is saved.

That’s it, the code above is all that is needed to display the custom fields (and their values when they exist) and save the values after saving a post.

Now, we can learn how to retrieve the values for use in template files.

Retrieving Custom Values Within Template Files
In my example where I created extra boxes for social sharing meta values, I needed to retrieve the values for use in the header between the “head” HTML tags. There are two ways to do that. One is by editing a template file directly to access the values in the custom fields and then display them, and another is to use some WordPress “actions” to “inject” the values between the HTML head tags.

I will show both options here as one may be more appropriate for your situation. You might not need to add anything in the header, but perhaps a sidebar or single post page, so the second set of commands below will offer guidance in those situations.

Here is the code for retrieving the custom values and inserting them into meta tags in between the “head” HTML tags using a WordPress hook. This code can be added to a custom plugin or to the functions.php template file.

<?php
add_action(‘wp_head’, ‘add_to_wp_head’);
function add_to_wp_head( )
{
if (is_single())
{
global $post;
$m_meta_description = get_post_meta($post->ID, ‘m_meta_description’, true);
echo ‘<meta name=”description” content=”‘ . $m_meta_description . ‘”/>’;
}
}
?>
The code would be very similar for retrieving the value in a template file as for including the value in the head with a WordPress hook. I’m not suggesting here though that modifying a theme with custom code is a good idea, because unless you are very organized, you may lose the functionality if you ever update the theme files, or use an entirely different theme.

But perhaps in a pinch you want to get this working until you have more time to write a plugin. Whatever the reason, let’s take a look at how we can get the custom field value from within the… say, the single.php template file.

<?php
$m_meta_description = get_post_meta($post->ID, ‘m_meta_description’, true);
echo ‘Here is the meta_description custom field value: ‘ . $m_meta_description;
?>
For the above code we are not “injecting” the code into any of WordPress’s code so there is no need for an “action” or “hook.” Also, we already have access to the $post variable providing we are in the loop so there is no need to re-declare it. And of course, there is no need to check if we are looking at a single post since we are executing this code within the single.php file.

Are There any Other Purposes for These Custom Fields?
I spoke of why I used these custom fields in WordPress already. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ being the 3 biggest social sharing networks (arguably), and having a distinct audience (for the most part)… our content could benefit from being shared in unique ways.

I only touched on it briefly before, but each of the sharing sites, while they may fall back on standard meta data or Open Graph tags, each have a default place that they look to retrieve pertinent information about a given web page.

The most pertinent of the information for a page on the web would be title, description, and image (and maybe video in some cases). Now, each site has different maximums for each of those fields, and they all display images differently, plus like I mentioned, the audience for each is unique. So, it makes sense to use different data for each site, yeah?

Now, as for other reasons to use custom fields… consider if you use the same sort of data in a post often. As an example, you might create a unique summary for a post when reviewing a restaurant for example. Well, if that summary is in a separate field, it can be shown differently. Perhaps there is different criteria that you review the restaurants based on. Those can now be done in custom fields.

Or what about ingredients for a recipe? When in their own fields they could be used later in different ways, like for sorting.

Or for the affiliate marketers out there, maybe you want to link the featured image to the affiliate product that you are discussing. You can upload the featured image like you would normally do but wrap it in an anchor tag as it gets printed to the screen, using a custom field as the affiliate URL.

Web Design Tips

In today’s time-crunched world, most people literally don’t have a minute to spare. This hurried pace extends to the realm of website design — your professional Web design must satisfy the demands of users with a wide range of options for viewing the Web.

Even if you create a website design that’s worth a wait, visitors faced with slow download speed aren’t likely to stick around. So how can you make sure that time is on your side? Pay close attention to seven professional Web design tips to create a website that won’t slow your business down.

#1: Limit use of flash

Flash is a classic example of style over substance and, while it definitely has its place in professional Web design, it must be used sparingly when you create a website. Even if your visitors have the right flash player (and many won’t), it will increase your site’s download time. Flash is also one of the Web site design elements that is not yet accessible to search engines, which means it can only hinder your search engine optimization efforts.

#2: Compress your images

Images are a great example of how looks can be deceiving in professional Web design. You might not realize just how much space they occupy when you create a website design. By compressing your images before adding them to your professional Web design, you can reduce/shrink a GIF or .JPEG image by up to half its original size. You may also want to specify the height and weight of your images in your HTML, which can decrease loading time.

#3: Clean up your code

While HTML text is much faster than graphic text, there are ways you can make it even faster. Watch out for extraneous HTML coding – like spaces, unnecessary tags and even white space — that can increase the size of your files. Remember that less is more, and use defaults for tags or remove them wherever possible.

#4: Use thumbnails

Thumbnails are an especially helpful website design technique for ecommerce websites. Provide customers with a small, fast-loading image of your product and let them decide whether they want to view the larger version of the image.

#5: Switch to CSS

Many Web designers now use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) instead of the more traditional table layout. CSS is a styling language that has a dual purpose in professional Web design: it can save you time when you create a website and save your visitors time by drastically reducing page size and download time.

#6: Reduce server requests

Any element of your design that loads from a different server – whether it be a graphic, an audio clip, or an ad – will elicit an HTTP request each time the page loads. Create a website with limited external content to reduce loading time.

#7: Pay attention to page size

Even if you use all of the tips above, your page size may still be big enough to cause a slow response when all the pieces of your website are put together. Remember that less is often more in professional Web design, and use only the content that is absolutely necessary. Ideal page size is around 30KB.

When you create a website design for your business, go the extra mile to ensure your website has the speed your visitors need — or risk getting passed by.

WordPress Plugins

2015 has been a big year in the world of WordPress. We’ve seen notable acquisitions, a series of stable core releases, high-profile hissy fits, and the continuing emergence of high-quality plugins offering site owners solutions for everything from podcasting to membership sites.
Thanks to developments like the WordPress REST API, plugins are a part of the platform set for explosive changes in the near future and their very nature may be about to fundamentally change.
In this article, we’ll break out the crystal ball and step through five predictions for the future of free and premium WordPress plugins in 2016 and beyond.
Let’s get cracking!
1. The Premium Plugin Market Will Continue to Expand

Premium themes continue to be the larger commercial WordPress market, but there is now a very healthy community of premium plugin developers making significant money from their efforts.
Scott Bolinger has performed sterling work in tracking down some of the specific figures in his piece on the current revenue of several leading WordPress-based businesses. Cast your eyes down the list and you’ll see several prominent premium plugin makers featured.
Revenue reports from WP Rocket
Revenue reports from WP Rocket
Standout performers here include Gravity Forms and Yoast, both of which are genuinely multi-million dollar businesses. Smaller outfits such as WP Rocket are also providing behind-the-scenes breakdowns of current earnings with regular monthly revenue reports.
The whole subject of commercial plugins has been a surprisingly fractious one over the years inside the WordPress community. We’re still waiting to see true premium plugins offered via WordPress.org and it’s been clear for some time that Matt Mullenweg is not the biggest fan of commercial plugins as a general idea.
Envato’s breakdown of premium plugin sales shows strong recent growth.
Envato’s breakdown of premium plugin sales shows strong recent growth.
As we move into 2016, though, the toothpaste is very much out of the tube with commercial plugins. The clear market demand for professional paid solutions suggests that we could be at the beginning of something of a gold rush for plugin developers that’s likely to continue for many years to come.
2. The WP REST API Will Fundamentally Change the Plugin Landscape

The WP REST API is slowly creeping into core and is set to completely change WordPress as a platform and potentially revolutionize our understanding of what a plugin can be.

We’ve covered the technical background of the REST API here on the blog previously, so we won’t dwell too much on matters under the hood. The implications of WordPress being a fully-fledged application framework are pretty enormous, though, and suggest several specific changes coming down the line for plugins:
Plugins and mobile apps are about to get very friendly indeed: The introduction of the REST API finally gives WordPress a route into the previously walled garden of mobile apps. Considering that apps are where users spend the majority of their time, the scale of opportunity here is huge.
There will be a large increase in third-party integrations: The combination of an available API and tools such as Zapier opens a lot of doors for developers to integrate with third-party applications. Expect to see a slew of plugins arrive over the next 12 to 18 months that aim to connect WordPress with business-facing applications in particular.
Plugins could move outside of WordPress entirely: The arrival of the WP REST API means that developers are no longer limited to PHP and the current WordPress plugin framework to interact with the platform – they’re free to use a language of their choosing, from anywhere. It won’t happen overnight, but this has the potential to fundamentally alter our perception of what a plugin even is. As recent blockbuster projects like Calypso have shown, the REST API opens the door to moving outside of WordPress and PHP entirely.
It’s worth remembering that we’re right at the very beginning of the REST API era, but it’s already clear that the long-term future of the platform revolves around it.
From the consumer point of view, it’s likely to be a huge win. As WordPress opens itself up to a wider programmatic world, and experienced developers from other languages start bringing their skills and expertise to bear in the context of plugins, we can expect to see whole new classes of plugins emerge.
3. Leading Plugins Will Look to Become Mini-Platforms

Just as WordPress itself is becoming a much wider and more robust platform, you can also expect to see individual plugins carve out their own mini-platform plays by encouraging other developers to build on their underlying technology.
This is a trend that Chris Lema foreshadowed as long ago as late 2013, but the accuracy of his prediction is only increasing as the years go by. Once again, established plugin giants such as Gravity Forms, Easy Digital Downloads, and WooCommerce have led the way here by offering their own stable APIs for others to build on.
Plugins like Easy Digital Downloads are establishing themselves as mini-platforms.
Plugins like Easy Digital Downloads are establishing themselves as mini-platforms.
It’s an approach that makes an enormous amount of sense for plugin makers, whether they’re tackling broad areas such as e-commerce and form management, or drilling down into niche markets.
The runaway success of WooCommerce shows the potential rewards on offer when pursuing this strategy, and it’s one you can expect to see increasing numbers of plugin makers adopt.
4. The Emergence of a True App Store Could Be on the Cards

As alluded to earlier, we’re still waiting to see WordPress.org offer an official commercial plugin directory. There are various historical factors behind this, but it’s not a scenario that looks likely to change anytime soon – Matt Mullenweg is on record as saying it will never offer a premium plugin marketplace.
The situation in recent years has been that premium plugins were available in basically two places: via the plugin developer’s own website or through the dominant commercial plugin directory Code Canyon.
Pro Plugin Directory
The launch of the Pro Plugin Directory earlier in 2015 was an attempt to provide a bit more variety to users in terms of tracking down quality premium plugins and brought some handy search and filtering options to the table. The site got off to a strong start but is currently up for sale which doesn’t suggest it got quite the initial traction hoped for.
With the overall plugin market continuing to grow, and a potentially explosive amount of new types of development about to kick off on the back of the REST API, it seems unlikely Code Canyon is going to remain the only game in town forever. This prediction is something of a speculative one, but there seems to be a big gap in the market for a brand new option along the lines of existing app markets for other platforms.
Looking around at likely candidates for making that happen, the obvious front-runner has to be Automattic. Mullenweg has insisted WordPress.org won’t be used for that purpose for years but there’s nothing stopping something similar happening in the context of WordPress.com. It’s admittedly a long-shot, but the purchase of WooCommerce shows that commercial plugin makers are on Automattic’s radar.
5. Plugins Will Finally Be Truly International

A big part of WordPress moving beyond its current 25% share of the overall market will be continuing its strides into the non-English speaking world. It’s easy to overlook from within the Anglosphere, but English is slowly losing its grip as the language of the internet.
WordPress has long had one eye on internationalization and localization and Matt Mullenweg’s Q&A with an international live audience at WordCamp Europe showed that it’s still near the top of the platform’s agenda.

Following solid work on the core platform itself, themes have been added to the WordPress translation project and plugins are next on the list. An official announcement in September made clear that language packs will soon be offered to all plugins.
Existing active plugins (those that have been updated in the last two years) will be imported into WordPress.org and made available for translation over the coming months, though there is no fixed timetable for completion. This process will give developers the option of both using existing translations and actively soliciting new ones.
The true internationalization of plugins is a project that isn’t going to happen overnight but the payoff for both users and developers will be huge as non-English speaking audiences are finally put on an equal footing.