How to update WordPress website

How To Update WordPress Sites for Beginners

Looking to update your WordPress website, but not exactly sure where to start? In this tutorial for beginners, we will go over the easiest and safest route on how to update your WordPress site without causing any downtime.

A majority of new WordPress website owners are concerned with potentially breaking their site, which is completely understandable as your website is a critical asset.

Once the WordPress development process is completed, the site will require maintenance going forward, so it’s important to ensure your site is always updated to the latest version.

Importance of WordPress Updates

It’s extremely important to note that WordPress updates should never be ignored. Typically, there’s a reason why a new update was released, so ignoring those messages can have serious consequences. 

You can potentially break your website and cause theme functionality issues by neglecting the latest WordPress update. For example, you may notice a contact form not functioning accordingly, or, a particular page might not properly load.

You’ll end up spending additional money by paying your WordPress developer to remediate any issues, so as you can tell, we’re serious about WordPress updates 🙂

The WordPress CMS itself is maintained by an experienced team of developers located around the World. They take a collaborative approach to find and fix bugs, add new features, and investigate security threats. WordPress updates are regularly released based on this collaborative approach.

Some WordPress hosting companies will offer an automated system, which is typically built-in to their backend. This will allow you to schedule automatic WordPress updates, with that said, there are times when the automated update doesn’t work, so you’ll notice a notification in your WordPress dashboard.

Luckily, there are several ways to safely update your WordPress website to the latest version, so we will go over the easiest method for beginners. We recommend this method as it doesn’t require any manual modifications to your website code or server changes.

Before Updating WordPress – Follow This Process

If this is your first time attempt at updating WordPress (without the help of your WordPress developer), then hang tight, I’ll show you the easiest method below.

It’s extremely important to complete a full backup of your WordPress site before initiating the update process. It’s key to prepare for any possible issues that may arise before updating to the latest WordPress version.

At this point, I’d recommend logging into your hosting account and downloading a full website backup which will most likely download as a zip folder.

Having a full backup of your WordPress site is important to prevent accidental data loss after the update is completed. It’s best practice to have a backup on standby in case a website modification causes an odd error message.

How To Update WordPress (the easiest method around)

1. Update WordPress via WP one-click system

This method is straightforward and typically takes less than a few minutes to fully complete. The installation process can be completed with one click, which makes it the easiest method. 

There are numerous methods listed online, but this is recommended for beginners and advanced users alike.

First, log in to your WordPress dashboard with the admin account. Then, you will see the notice that a new version of WordPress is available at the top of your WordPress dashboard. Now you just need to click on the Please update now button to initiate the update.

Once you’ve selected the Update Now button, you’ll initiate the WordPress installation process, which will update your site to the latest version. The WordPress updates page will display, so you’ll have to press the Update Now button again.

How to Update WordPress

The success message is then displayed which will confirm that the latest WordPress update was implemented on your site.

How to update WordPress website

At this point, your WordPress website should be updated to the latest version, so you’ll want to ensure the front-end functionality is still correctly working. We recommend manually testing the primary website pages to ensure there aren’t any errors present.

Here’s a link to the WordPress releases page which will display almost every WP update in chronological order, including detailed information on each update.

If you need assistance with updating your WordPress site, please contact us for a free consultation.


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How to Install Google Analytics on Drupal

How to Install Google Analytics on WordPress

 

How To Fix 404 Errors on WordPress

So, at one point or another, you’ve most likely seen a 404 error, and you’re probably wondering, how do I fix 404 errors on my WordPress site? Well, luckily, we promise, it’s not as confusing as it seems.

A 404 error is an HTTP status code displayed when a web page is unable to fully load the intended content, which means, the web page was most likely deleted or the URL changed.

Just to clarify, the 404 error indicates that your web hosting service is still functioning, the page itself is just not accessible, for a number of reasons. This is a huge concern as you’re missing out on prospective customers, and simultaneously, negatively affecting your SEO efforts.

As you can see from the screenshot below, this is what a website visitor will see when they land on a page on our site, with the infamous message, Error 404 This page could not be found!

How To Fix 404 Errors on WordPress

WordPress 404 Errors

We are constantly scanning our Google Search Console account to locate new 404 messages, so our team can quickly redirect them to relevant pages. 

Of course, even as an experienced web development agency, we occasionally miss a 404 error message, as we’re humans, not robots (although, I do believe our team could use a robot, at times).

Tip: please ensure your 404 page has a button that says, “Back to Homepage”, so website traffic can continuously navigate through your site, with minimal roadblocks.

How To Find and Fix 404 Errors in WordPress

As you can tell, we’re placing a heavy emphasis on 404 errors, as it’s extremely important to find and fix these error messages, accordingly. It can have an impact on your website’s SEO performance, as Google crawlers might have difficulties scanning your website.

Finding 404 Errors

There are a few different software tools that will find 404 errors on your website, but ultimately, the best tool, in our opinion, is Google Search Console. You can easily pinpoint pages with 404 error messages, all within your Google dashboard.

Google Search Console will display a detailed list of every 404 error Googlebot is able to locate on your site. This includes the specific website URL so you can redirect it, based on our steps listed in this post.

Here’s exactly how you can locate the 404 errors:

First, you’ll need to log in to your Search Console account, so please make sure you’re already logged into your Google/Gmail account. 

Once you’ve logged into your Search Console account, you’ll want to select the Coverage option on the left-sidebar, then select Excluded, and finally, please scroll down a bit, and select, Not Found (404).

How to Fix 404

On this new screen, you’ll see a list of 404 errors, marked Not found (404), with a full URL so you can see the affected pages, and take action.

404 Errors WordPress Website

We highly recommend keeping this browser tab open, so you have those URLs readily available when you move on to the next steps.

Fixing 404 Errors

There are several methods you can follow to fully remediate and fix any 404 error you come across on your WordPress site. We will go over, step by step, exactly how to fix a 404 error, following best practices.

It’s extremely important to follow these steps carefully and double-check your work, so all changes on you or your client’s site are done correctly.

Here’s how to fix the 404 errors:

Hopefully, you kept the browser tab open, as we had recommended earlier. So, let’s jump right into it. As you can see from our screenshot, we currently have 2 outstanding 404 errors that need to be fixed, immediately.

First, please log in to your WordPress dashboard and be prepared to install the Redirection plugin, which we recommend, for WordPress sites of all sizes.

After you’ve installed and activated the plugin, we’re ready for the juicy part- fixing those annoying 404 error messages. You’ll want to select the Settings option for the Redirection plugin so we can finally set up the page redirects.

Next, you’ll want to ensure you select the Redirects tab and then select Add New, so you can add a new redirect, which is exactly how you’ll fix the 404 error.

Redirection plugin for 404 errors

We will now fix the 404 error messages we located on our site.

You will see a field that says, Source URL, which is the URL of your 404 error page, so go ahead and copy/paste that URL in this field.

You will then place a relevant, working URL, in the field that says, Target URL, which means website visitors will be redirected to this URL going forward. 

(Please note, it’s extremely important to double-check these URLs to confirm it’s the correct location you’d like visitors to be redirected to)

404 Redirect

Once you’ve confirmed both the Source URL and Target URL are correct, you can then simply select the blue, Add Redirect, button to save the settings. After you’ve saved it, you should finally see the redirect added to the Redirects section.

If you feel like this process is way too complex and confusing, then we’d recommend contacting your web designer or SEO company, so they can thoroughly assist you with resolving all of your 404 errors.

When Should You Check for 404 Errors?

For small to medium-sized websites, with up to 100 pages, we’d recommend checking Google Search Console on a monthly basis, to review the latest 404 errors. 

For larger WordPress sites, with over 100 pages, we’d recommend monitoring your dashboard on a weekly basis, to ensure your website doesn’t get cluttered with 404s.

Conclusion: Fix 404 Issues on Your WordPress Site

If you have a WordPress website, 404 errors are unavoidable, as almost every website makes changes to its web pages and/or URL structures. It’s an extremely time-sensitive task, as it can negatively affect your Google rankings, and create a frustrating experience for current and prospective customers.

Hopefully, you’ve absorbed all of the tips and recommendations in this post, so you can fix those pesky 404 errors on your WordPress site. If you’re still unsure on how to fix the infamous, 404 not found error in WordPress, then definitely save this post, so you can review it at a later point.

If you need assistance with fixing 404 errors on your WordPress site, please reach out to our team for a free website consultation!


Here are articles that are relevant to any website project:

WordPress vs Drupal

Benefits of HTTPS

Test Your Website Speed Now

How to Install Google Analytics on Drupal

How to Install Google Analytics on WordPress

 

WordPress vs Magento

Magento vs WordPress: Which is Better for Ecommerce

It’s important for entrepreneurs to learn the difference between Magento vs WordPress content management systems, so you can make an informed decision when it comes down to selecting your business’ ecommerce platform!

We will cover some of the pros and cons, and share our team’s recommendation, based on established ecommerce projects we’ve consulted on.

Fully customized eCommerce systems are almost always required to run an efficient and secure website that is selling items. For example, most websites have a “Shop” inner page, which requires either a WordPress plugin or Magento Extensions to set up and configure, based on your overall requirements.

Fortunately, with the evolution of the web development industry, WordPress and Magento are open-source website systems that are completely free to use and customize. This gives new and existing business owners, with limited funding, the ability to launch a custom-built ecommerce website within a reasonable timeframe.

Comparing Magento and WordPress

Magento vs WordPress

Magento Overview:

Magneto has been a leading ecommerce platform for over a decade now, and was acquired by Adobe in 2018. Since it’s an open-source technology and owned by Adobe, the product should continuously improve over the years to come, with enterprise-grade security, based on Adobe’s role as product owner.

Magento was originally built with ecommerce in mind, so the overall architecture was structured to help beginners and developers build an online store, with minimal development work. This gives website owners the ability to fully customize their online shopping experience without having to manually code product pages. This also saves a tremendous amount of time when it comes time to set up and configure your credit card processing system with your Magento website.

You’ll find plenty of extensions that have been developed over years as there’s a large community of users due to the fact that Magento has been around for over a decade now! Based on our in-depth research and experience working with a variety of clients, Magento typically has a higher cost to maintain and develop. Unfortunately, Magento web developers charge several folds more than a professional WordPress development service, so WordPress has the advantage, in addition to having a larger network of developers.

Magento vs WordPress Support

Furthermore, the Magento support forum isn’t very user-friendly. Whether you’re looking for a specific solution to a website element or extension, you may not find a streamlined method to obtain this information. This can be discouraging to new users as there’s endless issues you’ll come across when building your ecommerce website.

The open-source, community version of Magento is completely free of charge, but sadly, the larger scale, Enterprise version, now known as Adobe Commerce, can cost a lot more than a paid WordPress plugin, which can be a huge turnoff when deciding on a new ecommerce solution for your website project.

While Magento is known to have a large community of users, this does not equate to a high number of qualified developers, thus resulting in a lack of talent in the marketplace, which is a top reason why WordPress wins this battle. So, unfortunately, this will end up causing you to waste valuable time sourcing qualified talent.

WordPress vs Magento

WordPress overview:

So, fun fact, based on recent data, WordPress now powers more than 40% of the websites in the entire World, and there are countless reasons why WordPress CMS has become popular with businesses and organizations of all sizes.

For start-ups and established ecommerce stores, WordPress can be fully customized with the assistance of a dedicated plugin, such as WooCommerce, which is one of the most popular plugins on the market.

Thankfully, since WordPress is truly open-source, it’s generally free from any upfront licensing costs, so it’s an ideal solution as the costs are minimal. The entire list of expenses associated with your new WordPress based ecommerce site are generally linked to hosting costs, domain renewal fees, plugin licenses fees (which are typically yearly), and any fees paid to your web design agency.

WordPress over Magento Support

Trusted community support is the number one advantage of WordPress over Magento, and this is a clear winner in our book. This is the top reason why most web designers prefer to implement an ecommerce site based on WordPress’ system, as Magento needs improvement in this department.

WordPress is maintained by an active community of thousands of high-level, fully qualified developers and testers, who are rigorously testing the WordPress code for security, speed, and any other enhancements. With this in mind, you can expect an influx of new features on a consistent basis, which will ultimately improve your ecommerce website over the years.

WordPress is Top-Rated

The flexibility and customization that comes with WordPress CMS is unmatched! There are thousands of ecommerce-related plugins available for your WordPress site. Apart from a vast number of free plugins, there are also several premium plugins sold by third-party software developers (such as WooCommerce), which are usually reasonably priced as every plugin requires updates to resolve bugs and security issues. 

If the built-in settings do not meet your needs, you can also extend the functionality of your site by modifying an existing plugin, so it meets your exact requirements.

If you’re looking to build a new ecommerce website or you’re in the process of redesigning an old website with an outdated design, content, and overall website architecture, then we highly recommend looking into a WordPress web design solution.

WordPress vs Magento – the WooCommerce Advantage

Interesting fact, 22% of the top one-million ecommerce sites in the world use WooCommerce, which basically means this plugin is the most popular WordPress plugin on the Internet! So, based on this statistic and our team’s knowledge, we are certain this is a top-rated ecommerce solution for businesses of all sizes.

Some of the top hosting companies have dedicated support teams for WordPress sites as the demand is increasingly high nowadays, which is a clear indication WordPress based ecommerce solutions have an advantage over Magento. (Please note: you should only work with a hosting company that specializes in your CMS solution)

Lastly, WooCommerce gives you more SEO specific options as it’s part of the WordPress ecosystem, so you’ll have access to well-known SEO plugins which will enhance your presence on Google by following SEO best practices.

Magento vs WordPress: Conclusion

If you’re a new ecommerce website owner or you’re refreshing an old site that isn’t aesthetically-pleasing and lacks flexibility, then we highly recommend a custom-designed WordPress website. You can set up and configure ecommerce functionalities with zero coding knowledge, by having access to some of the best, rigorously-tested ecommerce plugins.

If you’re in need of an experienced web design company to assist you with your ecommerce website, then please feel free to contact our team for a free website review!


Here are useful articles that are relevant to any website project:

Drupal vs WordPress

Benefits of HTTPS

Test Your Website Speed Now

How to Add Google Analytics to Drupal

How to Add Google Analytics to WordPress

 

Google Analytics Drupal CMS

How To Add Google Analytics To Drupal Sites

Before we discuss how to add Google Analytics to Drupal, we wanted to first explain the importance of Google Analytics. We’ve met established businesses, marketing directors, and web developers that’ll completely forget to connect the Google Analytics code to their Drupal website.

Google Analytics should be added to your Drupal website once you’re prepared to launch it on your main domain account, so please ensure your hosting environment is ready to go. At our web design agency, we do not add the Google Analytics code during the coding process since the website is still a work in progress, which means the public isn’t ready to view it.

Thankfully, we will share a detailed method you can easily follow, our team utilizes this specific method to implement Google Analytics to any Drupal site. There’s clearly several techniques you’ll find online when it comes to adding Google Analytics to Drupal, so the method we will discuss will only take a few minutes of your time, and you’re following Drupal’s best practices.

In this blog post tutorial, our team will discuss the key points of Google Analytics, how to signup, and how to add it to your Drupal website within minutes…and don’t worry, zero Drupal development knowledge is required!

Let’s jump right to it- grab your cup of coffee and continue reading below on how to setup Google Analytics to Drupal. (shhh, don’t tell your boss or client you’re using this blog post).

Benefits of Adding Google Analytics to Drupal

By directly adding the Google Analytics code to Drupal backend, you’ll unlock useful data relating to your Drupal environment. A few benefits of utilizing the analytics data include:

  • Location of website visitors, which include both prospective and current customers. This data will display where visitors are originating from. It will reveal key traffic referral sources such as Google search and PPC ads, social media sites, news articles, etc. This data is extremely beneficial so your marketing budget can be allocated to the right channels.
  • Locating your most popular nodes– high traffic website pages, blog posts, etc. With the ability to locate your most popular website content, you’ll be well prepared to implement and constantly enhance your content marketing strategies based on popular topics.
  • User experience audit. By having specific data relating to website behavior, you’ll easily expose a variety of issues that could be ultimately affecting your marketing efforts. These issues could range from a broken website link to non-functional buttons on your Drupal site that may affect conversions.
  • Google Analytics Goals. Within the Analytics system, you also have the ability to track website conversions, which is usually an advanced task and not always required, but helpful as it’ll display detailed information which can benefit an e-commerce based website.

How to Signup with Google Analytics

Google Analytics is completely free of charge, but you’ll need a registered Google account, so basically, if you have a Gmail account, you qualify. The entire sign-up process is quite straightforward- please review our detailed instructions below to get your Google Analytics account setup.

Step 1: To start, you’ll need to visit the Google Analytics website so you can begin the setup process. You’ll instantly be asked to login with your Google account, if you haven’t already signed in, so please do so when prompted.

If you’ve already logged into your Google or Gmail account, then you can continue to follow the steps below to complete the process. If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll need to create one to fully setup Google Analytics on your Drupal site.

Step 2: Make sure to click on the blue button that says, Start measuring, which will then take you to the next page, Create Account. At this point, Google will require you to input an account name which signifies your account so Analytics is tracking data accordingly.

Step 3: On the next page, you’ll need to provide a property name, select your specific time zone, and currency, and finally, complete the “about your business” section.

After you’ve finished these sections, please go ahead and click on the Create button. At this stage, if you’ve followed the steps, you’ll see a message displaying the Google Analytics TOS agreement, which you must fully agree to…so please read the terms and then click the “I Accept” button, if you agree for the terms of service.

Step 4: On this screen, you’ll need to select a specific platform, so it’s important to select “Web” since this is for your Drupal website, and finally, you’ll need to input your website URL and finish that section.

You’ll now see a new screen appear with the Google Analytics tracking code, which you can finally set up using one of the user-friendly methods below…

(Tip: our team recommends leaving this page open so you can easily access the code, if needed.)

Congrats – you’ve now set up a Google Analytics account – let’s show you how to add Google Analytics on your Drupal site with the following methods listed below.

How to Install Google Analytics on Drupal

1. Drupal Module

One of the quickest ways to add Google Analytics to your Drupal site is by installing and configuring the Google Analytics Module which was specifically developed for Drupal websites.

This is a fairly-straightforward task, our team recommends installing the module directly from your Drupal backend. We will discuss step-by-step how to properly set up the module to ensure Google Analytics is working on your Drupal site.

This module connects your Google Analytics account to your Drupal website with a user-friendly process so you can easily view key website data without any technical knowledge.

Please note, by installing the Google Analytics module, you do not need to edit your Drupal theme files.

Steps to follow:

Login to your Drupal website and click on Extend, which is located on the left-side bar. Select the blue button, Add new module. Upload the module by choosing the Google Analytics zip file which can be downloaded from this Drupal page (if you haven’t already downloaded it yet). Click on the continue button to ensure the process is fully complete.

You’ll now need to go back to the Extend page and locate the Google Analytics module, then select the checkbox next to it and then select the blue Install button. You should now be presented with a message that says, “Module Google Analytics has been enabled”

See our screenshot below…

How To Add Google Analytics to Drupal

At this point, you’ve enabled the Google Analytics module, so you can select the configure button to continue the setup process.

Google Analytics configure button

Finally, input your Google Analytics Property ID and select the blue, Save configuration, button which is located at the bottom of your page (please don’t forget to save it as this is a common mistake). Have issues locating your Property ID? It is located within your Google Analytics account, typically, it can be found in the Property Settings section.

How to Install Google Analytics on Drupal

If you thoroughly went through the steps and configured the module correctly, you’ll see valuable data shown in your Google Analytics dashboard. Of course, this may take up to 24 hours or a few days, as Google is processing your website structure.

Add it to Your Drupal Site!

If you’ve made it through this entire tutorial and still haven’t configured Google Analytics on your Drupal site, then I’d definitely recommend grabbing your second or third cup of coffee, and immediately starting this task.

If your business needs assistance with adding Google Analytics to your Drupal site, please feel free to contact our web design agency for Drupal support!


Here are useful articles we wrote that are relevant to any Drupal project:

WordPress vs Drupal

Importance of Website Speed

Advantages of HTTPS

How to setup Google Analytics on WordPress

How To Install Google Analytics on WordPress Sites

Looking to learn how to install Google Analytics on WordPress? We wanted to first explain the importance of Google Analytics as many business owners, communications directors, and even experienced web design firms, struggle to connect this useful analytics system to their WordPress website.

Google Analytics should be added to your WordPress site once you’re ready to launch it live on your primary domain and hosting account. Personally, we do not add the Google Analytics tracking code during the development process as the website isn’t live to the public yet.

Luckily, there are 2 easy-to-follow methods we implement when adding Google Analytics to our WordPress sites. There are obviously various tips and techniques you’ll find when it comes to Google Analytics, but these methods only take a few minutes each, and ultimately, it follows the best practices which are critical when you’re working on website-related tasks.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the benefits of Google Analytics, how to sign-up for it, and how to connect it to your WordPress site within minutes…and the best part, zero technical knowledge is required.

So, grab your cup of coffee, (don’t tell your boss or client you’re using this blog post), and let’s jump right to it!

Benefits of Adding Google Analytics to WordPress

By simply adding the Google Analytics code to your site, you’ll unlock valuable information relating to your WordPress site. Some of the benefits of utilizing the analytics data include:

  • Pinpointing exactly where your visitors come from, such as organic Google search results, social media posts, news articles, blogs, etc. This is a key piece of data as you’ll be able to modify your budget accordingly based on specific marketing channels.
  • Having the ability to view your most popular website pages and blog posts will allow you to build a custom content marketing strategy around the topics that are most enticing for your audience.
  • Website behavior and user experience auditing will reveal both critical and minor issues with specific pages that perform poorly due to various issues, such as image resolution, broken links, non-functional buttons, and broken sign-up forms.
  • Configuring conversions is typically an advanced task that will provide detailed reporting for Google Analytics Goals which can be used for e-commerce purposes, for example, when selling items online.

How to Register for Google Analytics

Google Analytics is completely free to register and run on your site, but you’ll need an active Google account to register. The initial sign-up process is fairly straightforward, please see our step-by-step instructions below to create your Google Analytics account.

Step 1: First you’ll need to visit the Google Analytics portal so you can initiate the installation process. You’ll immediately be prompted to log in with your Google account if you’re not signed in yet.

If you’re already signed in to your Google or Gmail account, then you can continue to follow the steps below to complete the process. If you don’t have a Google account then you’ll need to create one to set up and configure Google Analytics on your WordPress website.

How to setup Google Analytics on WordPress
Step 2: You’ll want to click on the blue button that says “Start measuring” which will then display the following page, Create Account, which will require you to input an account name that will be used to track your Google Analytics account.

Google Analytics account setup

 

Step 3: On the next section, you’ll need to input a property name, set your time zone, and currency (which is typically used for sites that are selling items), and then complete the about your business section.

Analytics Property setup

 

Once you’ve completed these sections, click on the Create button. At this point, you should be presented with the Google Analytics terms of service, which you must agree to, so please read the terms and then click the “I Accept” button, if you agree.

Google Analytics Terms of Service


Step 4: During this step, you’ll be prompted to choose a platform so it’s important to select “Web” if this is for your WordPress website, then you’ll need to input your website URL and complete that section.

You should now be shown the Google Analytics tracking code which you can finally get set up using one of the methods below.

(We also recommend leaving this browser tab open so you can easily access the code, as needed.)

Google Analytics Tagging Instructions

Awesome, we’ve now set up a Google Analytics account, so let’s show you how to install Google Analytics on your WordPress site via the 2 methods listed below.

How to Install Google Analytics on WordPress

1. The Official Google Analytics WordPress Plugin

One of the easiest ways to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site is by installing and configuring the official plugin from Google’s team, which is called, Site Kit by Google.

To complete this task, we recommend installing the plugin directly from your WordPress dashboard. We will go over the steps on how to set up the plugin to ensure Google Analytics is working properly.

This plugin connects your Google Analytics account to your WordPress site with a streamlined process so you can quickly view important website data. Another huge benefit to installing this plugin is the fact that it also displays key data from Google Search Console, Google AdSense, and PageSpeed Insights, which will allow you and your team to have a quick point of reference.

(Please note, by installing the Site Kit plugin, you do not need to edit your WordPress theme’s site files.)

Steps to follow:

Login to your WordPress website and click on Plugins, Add New, and search for the Site Kit by Google plugin. Click on the install button and then select activate, which will then display a Congratulations message on the Plugin page. If you’ve done everything correctly up to this point, you should see a blue button that says, start setup.

How to Install Google Analytics on WordPress with Site Kit

After you’ve clicked on the start setup button, you’ll be prompted to connect to your Google account by selecting the “Sign in with Google” button.

Due to best practices and security purposes, Google will need to verify you’re the actual website owner, so Google Analytics can start tracking your website data with detailed reports.

Once Google has verified you’re the website owner, you’ll notice a message with a green checkmark that says, “You’re a verified owner”, you’ll then want to select the “allow” button to complete the configuration process.

Finally, once the entire setup process is completed, you’ll see a final page with 3 green checkmarks and a blue button that says, Go to my Dashboard, which will take you back to your WordPress dashboard.

If you’ve followed the steps and configured everything correctly, you’ll see a new tab directly on your WordPress dashboard that says, Site Kit. This will ultimately save time and resources as you’ll have the ability to view data directly from your Google Analytics account, along with Search Console data. Here’s a screenshot so you can easily locate it:

Site Kit by Google Analytics

If you’re not interested in installing the Site Kit plugin, you can continue reading this post and you’ll see the alternative method listed.

2. Adding the Google Analytics Code Directly

If you’d prefer not to use the Site Kit plugin, it’s also fairly simple to add the Google Analytics tracking code directly to your WordPress theme files via manually adding it to an important file, also known as header.php (don’t worry, we’ll cover the steps on how to locate this file next).

Before you edit your WordPress theme files, in general, it’s best practice to ensure you have a full backup of your files on standby, in case you make a simple mistake. (Please note: we like to take a screenshot of the header.php file and copy the text in Notepad so we know exactly what it looks like before updating it. This is a helpful tip as it’ll eliminate any headaches if you need to revert to your previous settings.)

How to manually install on WordPress

Typically, you can locate the file by going to your WordPress dashboard, then selecting the Appearance tab on the left sidebar, and finally, selecting the “Theme File Editor” option. Once you select this, you’ll see a new screen with your WordPress theme files, you’ll then want to select the header.php file which is typically found on the right side of the screen.

Once you’ve selected the header.php file, you’ll want to carefully place your Google Analytics code also known as the “Global site tag” within the <head> section of your file. Once you’ve added the Google Analytics code, you can select the Update File button. Please see the screenshot below to see exactly where we place it…

header.php file

Congratulations, you’ve now set up Google Analytics manually, without any plugin or web development experience. Log back into your Google Analytics account and start tracking valuable analytics data!

If you’ve made it through this entire blog post and still haven’t set up Google Analytics on your WordPress site, then I’d highly recommend grabbing your second cup of coffee, and immediately starting the process.

If you’re not exactly sure how to install Google Analytics on WordPress sites and need assistance, please feel free to contact our web design agency for a consultation!


Here are useful articles we wrote that are relevant to any WordPress project:

WordPress vs Drupal

Importance of Website Speed

Advantages of HTTPS

Wordpress vs Drupal

WordPress vs Drupal: Comparing the Two Most Popular CMS Platforms

WordPress vs Drupal is an ongoing discussion as both platforms have become increasingly favored in the past few years – companies of all sizes are migrating from their legacy website systems to WordPress and Drupal as both content management systems (CMS) follow industry best practices for website development.

With CMS’ gaining in popularity, in recent years, there’s been a proliferation of options, causing many to wonder, “Which CMS is right for me?”

To help you decide between WordPress vs Drupal, here’s a guide comparing the two popular content management systems, to help you make up your mind.

WordPress vs Drupal

While WordPress may be the best-known CMS, with 28% of websites worldwide employing the popular CMS platform – being several times as large as the closest competitor, Drupal. Each CMS platform has its constituency, its loyal followers, its prophets, acolytes, and advocates.

Both WordPress and Drupal are some of the best-known CMS’, with each having its own benefits. Knowing which CMS will be right for you and your organization depends on what business or industry you’re in, your website and eCommerce needs, strategy for mobile optimization, site security, and more.

WordPress and Drupal are both reliable CMS platforms, each having specific uses built for businesses and organizations of all sizes. WordPress might be best for smaller or mid-sized businesses, blogs, and small eCommerce sites, due to its ease of use.

Drupal is the most powerful CMS on the market, however, with the highest security settings built-in, which is the reason why almost all government agencies are migrating to Drupal.

Which CMS Is Easiest To Use?

If you’re not that comfortable with web technologies, and you’re just getting started on your first business website, WordPress is likely to be your best bet. Drupal development is deep, vast, and powerful, with Enterprise capabilities, for those savvy enough to know how to use it.

Another advantage of WordPress development is the vibrant community of users and developers who have fearlessly gone where you are trying to go, and are usually more than happy to help you with whatever technical problems you might be having.

Drupal has a vibrant community, as well, but smaller than WordPress’, being more comparable to technical forums like GitHub or Stack Overflow. Drupal is not designed to be a cookie-cutter CMS, Drupal has a steep learning curve, so we highly recommend having an experienced Drupal developer on standby.

Updates are another thing to think about. Typically, WordPress upgrades itself automatically, making it as easy to keep your website up-to-date so you’re not having to contact your web developer regularly. Drupal, on the other hand, will need to be updated manually, so we highly recommend updating Drupal’s core/modules only if you’re experienced with the process. The good side of Drupal’s manual updates, however, is you can decide which updates you want, for full customizability.

Site Customization

Themes and plugins/modules are the easiest way to customize WordPress and Drupal sites, especially if you’re new to web development. If you’ve not yet gotten into learning custom HTML, CSS, and PHP, WordPress has a lot to offer, in regards to Site Customization, with an extensive community of web developers offering over 30,000 themes and plugins – many of which are available for free.

Drupal offers a similar level of customizability, on-page, but does so without using plugins. Drupal uses modules instead of plugins, and there are almost as many Drupal modules as there are WordPress plugins, so there’s plenty of options to choose from based on your specific website requirements.

Weighing Cost

While both Drupal and WordPress are free to download as they’re both considered open source platforms, Drupal can be a bit more pricey, in the site building setup, as you’ll likely want to hire an experienced Drupal developer and project manager. WordPress can easily be set up with minimal experience as it’s slightly more user-friendly and requires fewer resources overall.

Security

As cyber-security becomes an increasingly hot topic, by the day, wondering which CMS platform is most secure is a pertinent concern. By and large, Drupal is the more secure of the two. With WordPress being so popular, security is a subject that website owners need to constantly stay on top of.

Ironically, third-party plugins are also a way to make WordPress more secure. Drupal, on the other hand, by default, is already highly secure making it the clear choice for enterprise-level security.

Google Ranking

While Google ranking is not platform specific, per se, the way WordPress and Drupal are set up allows developers and SEO consultants to streamline the site building process as both CMS’ are SEO friendly.

Drupal was built specifically for prime SEO performance, but WordPress can easily perform just as strongly, via 3rd party plugins. Drupal also tends to load faster, another factor that Google looks at for SEO ranking. Drupal has an easier time handling large amounts of content, which is something else Google looks at for SEO ranking.

Mobile optimization is an important factor in SEO ranking. While there are tons of responsive WordPress Themes out there, ready to go, Drupal is even better suited for mobile development, especially since the release of Drupal 8.  Drupal 8 is structured to be fully mobile responsive out-of-the-box.

Who Uses WordPress Vs Drupal

Both The New York Times and CNN run on WordPress, but The White House, NASA, and Harvard University use Drupal. If you’re just looking to set up a website as quickly as possible and begin publishing, WordPress is going to be your best bet. If you’re looking for a fully customizable, scalable CMS, with enterprise-level security, Drupal might best for you.

Still wondering which of the two most popular CMS platforms are right for your organization? Get in touch with our web design agency today, and let us help you pick either WordPress vs Drupal for your website project.

Website Speed

The Importance of Website Speed: Test Your Site Now

With nearly every business on Earth having its own website and extensive online presence, the importance of website speed is becoming increasingly obvious. Websites that load faster get more traffic, plain and simple. Obviously, when the user experience is much more streamlined, efficient, and pleasant, it’s a major step towards “delighting the customer/user,” one of the holy grails of digital marketing.

According to an infographic compiled by Kissmetrics, based on research on loading times by Akamai and Gomez.com:

  • Nearly half of the Internet users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • Those users tend to abandon a site if it’s not fully loaded in 3 seconds or less.
  • 79% of people shopping on the internet won’t return to a site if they’ve experienced problems previously.
  • 44% of digital customers will tell their friends if they have a negative or unpleasant experience on a website.

The bottom line is, a few-second delay on your website or app could cost you dearly, in terms of future customers and sales, so test your website now!

Tools and Resources For Determining Your Website’s Speed

Website speed has been an important metric for determining SEO ranking since 2010 when page load time was incorporated into Google’s search algorithm. According to an official statement from Google – “Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.”

Unfortunately, based on numerous websites we’ve reviewed in recent months, we’re still seeing plenty of websites that are continuously neglecting website speed, so it’s extremely important your site speed is tested and fully optimized per Google’s best practices.

To see what Google sees, there are several useful tools and resources for determining your website’s speed. Use online tools such as Page Speed Online, GTmetrix, browser extensions like Firefox’s Page Speed, WordPress plugins like Google Pagespeed, and, of course, Google Webmaster Tools, which is invaluable, powerful resources that every website owner and developer should have in their arsenal.

Page Speed Score

Straight from the behemoth, Page Speed Online is a free online resource for determining website speed by Google. Nobody knows more about website ranking than the largest search engine on Earth, making Google’s tools an excellent first place to start in determining how your website speed is impacting your Google rankings.

Page Speed Online offers several possible fixes to improve your website by notifying you of potential coding issues. Many of the recommended fixes tend to be fairly technical, so you might want to have a web developer at hand to translate.

So, you might be wondering, how does Google precisely measure the speed of your website? They use a metric labeled as Page Speed score, with a score between, 0 – 100. Ultimately, the less technical issues a website has, the higher it scores.

Test your site right nowgo here and enter your URL to view your Google page speed score.

Optimizing Your Website Speed For Mobile Users (And Why It Matters)

Do you think desktop users are impatient? Consider your average mobile user, who is often trying to grab a quick glimpse at a site while standing in line, riding the bus, or some other tedious, mundane task where they’d rather be doing something else (like reading about web development, for instance.)

Wondering why website speed matters for mobile users, in particular? Mobile users fall behind desktop users in several important metrics, most notably, time spent on site, bounce rate, and pages per visit. Considering that over 30% of all online shopping happens via a mobile device, annually, and is only expected to rise, this is a huge opportunity, as well as a common mistake that many web developers make.

As recently as July 2016, the average load time for mobile users was 6.9 seconds, according to Dynatrace’s Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. Considering the average user gives up after 3 seconds, with 79% reporting they’re unlikely to do business through a website with unsatisfactory user experience, as we’ve already mentioned, this is a major PR nightmare, as well as a potential blocker for profits and repeat business.

Here’s a tool we also recommended that will allow you to test your website speed for mobile devices – Test Your Site

Still not convinced website speed is important? Here’s a quote that’s extensively used, a study completed by the Aberdeen Group found that “A 1-second delay in page load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in total sales conversions.” This particular research study dates back to 2008, so if anything, user expectations of fast loading websites are on the rise.

Want to know how our Northern Virginia web design team can help your website load faster? Get in touch with us today and our team will help you improve your website speed!

Here are useful articles that are relevant to any WordPress or Drupal project:

WordPress vs Drupal CMS

Advantages of HTTPS

Advantages of HTTPS

Advantages of HTTPS: Here’s Why You Need to Update Your Website

So you might be wondering what HTTPS is and the advantages, well, for quite some time – since August of 2014 to be specific – Google has ranked HTTPS websites slightly higher in search results which is why it’s extremely important as the advantages of HTTPS are endless. This is because HTTPS is a secure process, also known as, Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which is used to verify encrypted data between trusted websites and servers, preventing hackers from viewing your website’s proprietary information.

What Is HTTPS and How Is It Different?

HTTPS, as we’ve already mentioned, stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTP, which is the conventional term, simply stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The two sound very similar, yet have striking differences that warrant Google’s emphasis on the more secure variant.

HTTPS appears in the URL when a website is fully configured and secured via an SSL certificate. Now you’re probably wondering, what is an SSL certificate? We can write a new blog post on this topic, so we’ll keep it brief so you’re familiar with the process from a higher level.

So, to determine if the website you’re currently on has an SSL certificate properly configured, you’ll see https:// at the start of the website address (with an “s”) rather than the standard http:// when you’re viewing the site.

In order to activate HTTPS on your website, an SSL certificate must be installed on your website’s server. The SSL certificate serves two vital functions:

  • It fully authenticates the identity of the website, protecting your visitors from being redirected to fraudulent sites linked to malware/viruses.
  • It securely transmits your website’s data via encryption processes, ensuring your customer’s sensitive info is safe from unauthorized connections.

Google Chrome will display an “unsecured” or “potentially harmful” warning for sites that have not completed the HTTPS migration process. Trust us when we say, you don’t want this to happen.

Here’s a screenshot of a website that does not have HTTPS configured on its website.

advantages of https

If you check out of our website (yes, the site you’re on right now) with HTTPS properly configured, you’ll see we have the secure lock displaying on Google Chrome.

For now, the important thing to note is that Google clearly places the spotlight on secure websites using the HTTPS protocol, giving them preference over standard HTTP sites.

In fact, Google stands behind HTTPS and wholeheartedly believes that it helps protect the integrity of any site that has it deployed. It obviously makes sense; the added protection ensures that the website data has not been altered or tampered with. It also guarantees that data being sent or received is originating from a trusted source.

A common question we receive: Is it possible to make the switch to HTTPS for WordPress websites?

Absolutely! You can configure almost every WordPress website based on the HTTPS protocol, you can also set up HTTPS for Drupal websites too. We highly recommend configuring your site during the initial website launch as it’ll streamline the process, and likely prevent WordPress and Drupal bugs.

We also suggest improving your website speed after you implement your SSL certification as it’ll solidify your overall website structure.

Advantages of HTTPS

It’s clear that Google places an emphasis on HTTPS-based websites, but what are the advantages? What will a switch to HTTPS do for your website?

When Google initially rolled out the rankings boost, it only affected a small percent of the global search queries. This meant that it held a lot less weight in search rankings compared to some of the other SEO factors.

In recent times, a lot has changed, based on a comment from an employee at Google, they have since strengthened it so that it acts as a tie-breaker between two competing sites in the search results. Yes, that means you could potentially rank lower than your competitors if they use HTTPS and you don’t, so please, place it on your to-do list.

As for the SEO benefits of HTTPS, well, those are straightforward.

  • The obvious benefit is that your site will see an increase in organic rankings across the board. This is because Google prefers to direct visitors to trusted websites with HTTPS configured, which means you could lose traffic to a site that’s more secure than yours.
  • Second, the referrer data when passing through HTTPS is always preserved. With conventional HTTP, this information is generally stripped away so it’s more difficult to track where your visitors are coming from.
  • Finally, HTTPS offers better security and privacy for your customer base, especially when they are sharing sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and addresses. With website technologies advancing, data breaches are being increasingly common nowadays, any additional layer of security is always recommended. The last thing you or your organization needs is to lose customers because you were unable to fully secure sensitive data for not following security best practices.

Ultimately, deploying HTTPS will allow you to stay on good terms with Google, but it will also establish transparency and trust with your customers. Trust is remarkably important when it comes to transactions and credit card payment systems. Many customers may not know the technical specifics, but they know enough to understand that HTTPS is more secure.

Plus, a slight boost in search engine rankings on Google won’t hurt either, especially if you can get the edge over your competitors.

If you need assistance with configuring HTTPS on your WordPress or Drupal website, please contact us and our web design agency will help out!

Here are useful articles that are relevant to any WordPress or Drupal project:

WordPress vs Drupal

Importance of Website Speed