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Using WordPress

How to Make a Social Networking Site Like Facebook

How to create a social networking site like Facebook on WordPress

Do you want to create a social networking website like Facebook with WordPress?

WordPress is so flexible that it allows you to build any kind of website, including a niche social network, like Facebook. In this article, we’ll show you how to make a niche social networking site like Facebook with WordPress.

Why Build a Niche Social Network?

There are many social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. But, these platforms are for everyone, and you couldn’t control your audience on them. You may create private groups on Facebook that aren’t publicly accessible, but since you don’t own the group, Facebook can delete it anytime without your consent.

A niche social network will give you complete control over the users, user activities, and the network itself. You can build a website like Facebook for your users to let them connect with each other.

Making Your Social Networking Site Like Facebook Using BuddyPress

BuddyPress is a popular WordPress plugin that can transform any WordPress website into a social network. It’s available for free from the WordPress.org repository.

It comes with similar features as Facebook like user registration, profile management, user groups, and more. The users can also send friend requests to each other and communicate on private messages. As an administrator, you can control the activity and no one can delete your niche social network.

Step 1: Purchase a Domain Name and Web Hosting

The first thing you need to do is to purchase a domain name and web hosting.

We recommend using Bluehost. It’s one of the most popular web hosting providers and an official WordPress hosting partner.

For IsItWP users, they’re also offering a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and a great discount on web hosting.

Bluehost review

Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer »

You might also want to check out this complete Bluehost review!

Visit Bluehost website and click on the Get started button. Next, you’ll be asked to choose a hosting plan. For a Facebook like social network, let’s select the basic plan as you’re just getting started (it includes a free domain name and free SSL certificate). You can always upgrade later as your site grows.

Select a Bluehost Plan

Now you need to enter the domain information. You can either proceed with an existing domain that you own or purchase a new one for free. Select the best option that suits your situation.

Bluehost Choose Domain

After choosing a domain name, you need to enter your account information. For easy registration, you can sign in with Google and complete the setup in a few clicks.

Bluehost account creation

Next, scroll down until you find the package information box. You can choose the basic plan for 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months. It also shows that a few addons are preselected, adding up the total price. We recommend unchecking the addons because you don’t need these right away. You can always purchase them later whenever you want.

Choosing the 36-month plan will get you the best value for your money.

Bluehost package information

Lastly, you need to scroll down to the page further and enter your payment details. You have to agree to their Terms of Service and then, click on the Submit button.

That’s it!

You’ve successfully subscribed to a hosting plan. Go ahead and create a password for your account.

After that, you’ll receive an email with details on how to log in to your web hosting control panel (cPanel), where you can manage everything, including web files, emails, and support.

Step 2: Set Up WordPress for Your Social Networking Site

It’s easy to set up a website like Facebook with WordPress.

Bluehost offers 1-click WordPress installation on their dashboard. You need to visit your Bluehost account and enter your website details. It will install WordPress in a few minutes.

With Bluehost, you don’t have to go through a manual WordPress installation process. This saves you time and effort. Add your website name and tagline, select a theme, and you’ll be ready to get started with WordPress instantly.

You can change all settings later from your WordPress admin dashboard.

Step 3: Select the Right WordPress Theme for Your Social Network

While you can find a lot of different WordPress themes for your BuddyPress site, we recommend Kleo. This theme transforms your website into a community-powered site. Aside from BuddyPress, this theme supports bbPress as well.

Go ahead and install and activate the Kleo theme. For more details, you should check out our guide on how to install a WordPress theme.

Kleo WordPress Theme Review

Step 4: Install BuddyPress for Creating a Facebook-like Website

Next, install and activate the BuddyPress plugin. For more details, you can see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After activation, you need to go to Settings » BuddyPress to take a look at the default plugin settings.

BuddyPress settings

The settings page has multiple tabs, including components, options, pages, and credits.

In the Components tab, you can checkmark any option to activate or deactivate the settings. After making the changes, you need to click on the Save Settings button at the bottom of the page.

Save components

In the Options tab, you can manage general, profile, and activity settings. By default, these settings work with any social network.

Options settings

If you intend to change an option, then checkmark on it and go to the bottom of the page to click on the Save Settings button.

In the Pages tab, you can manage the directories and registration pages. When you install BuddyPress, it creates the required pages automatically which means the default settings can work for your social network.

Pages settings

If you change any page settings, then click on the Save Settings button.

The Credits tab will display the team behind the BuddyPress plugin.

Step 5: Creating the Navigation Menu for Your Niche Social Network

After the general settings, you need to create a navigation menu for your social network. It will help users navigate to other pages easily.

For this, you need to visit Appearance » Menus page in the WordPress admin area. And, add all the BuddyPress pages to your navigation menu.

Navigation menus

Click on the Save Menu button to continue.

Next, you can visit your niche social network website to check out the pages.

Site pages

You can click on any BuddyPress page like the Activity page. This will show you the user activity and also allows you to post a status update just like Facebook.

Activity page

The BuddyPress plugin is compatible with the popular WordPress themes. You can also find several BuddyPress-specific templates on the internet. So, the navigation menu will look great on your niche social network site.

Step 6: Running Your Social Network With BuddyPress

Now that you set up a social networking site, it’s important to keep it running and make users engaged. It also means avoid spam and moderate content submitted by your users.

Luckily, BuddyPress comes with several ready-made tools to help manage and run your social networking site smoothly.

First, you need to visit the Activity page from the WordPress admin menu. From there, you can manage recent user activity. It lets you filter the activity by members, profiles, and activity streams.

Activity Settings

You can take bulk actions to mark as spam, delete permanently, and mark no spam on the activities.

Next, you should visit the Users page. From there, you can take bulk actions to delete users, edit profiles, mark spam users, etc. You can also change user roles to control their access to your social network.

User signups

You can also visit the Manage Signups page to check out new user signups. From there, you can approve a user and delete the spam users.

Step 7: Adding Groups to Your Social Network

User groups are a common feature on Facebook. You can also allow your social network users to create groups. These groups work as social communities where the users can add other members, invite users, post status updates, etc.

You can visit the Groups page in your WordPress admin area to create your first user group. Click on the Add New button to start creating the group.

Add new group

Start by adding the group name and description. Next, you need to click on the Create Group and Continue button.

Create group and continue

After that, it will show you the privacy options. You can create public, private, or hidden groups. With each privacy option, you can find the terms and conditions that help decide how you want to run your group.

Group privacy

You can also select the group invitations settings below. Click on the Next Step button to continue.

Now you need to add a group profile photo and click on the Next Step button.

Group profile photo

In the next option, you should add the cover photo for your group. Click on the Next Step button.

After that, you can invite users to join your group. The members can also search for your group and send the request to join it.

Add members to group

Click on the Finish button and the group is ready.

Your users can visit the Groups page from the navigation menu to check out all the groups on your social networks.

Step 8: Set Up Email Notifications

To send alerts to users about the recent activity on their timeline, you can set up email notifications and customize the messages for users.

Visit the Emails page in the WordPress admin area. If you want to create a new email notification, then click on the Add New button.

Add new email

There are multiple pre-built email templates that you can edit and change according to your niche social network.

Edit emails

With the customize option, you can change the background color, text color, and text size for your notification emails.

Email customize option

Click on the Publish button to store these settings.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a social networking site like Facebook on WordPress. You may also want to check out our guide on how to create a website like Reddit with WordPress.



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How to Get Google Sitelinks for Your WordPress Site (8 tips)

One of the questions we often get asked from readers is: how do I get additional links to appear under my site’s search results in Google?

Sometimes when you search for a company name in Google (like “wpbeginner”), you may notice that the search listing is larger than others because it contains sitelinks to other important pages from the website.

These sitelinks in Google helps your brand stand out and get more exposure. In this article, we will share how you can get Google sitelinks for your WordPress site.

How to Get Google Sitelinks in WordPress

Since this is a comprehensive guide on adding Google sitelinks, we have created a table of content for easy browsing:

Google sitelinks are additional sub-pages that appear under the first site in search engine ranking results (SERPs). These are often internal links to the most popular pages of that website. Google sitelinks are often shown when you search for a specific brand keyword because they help the user easily navigate around the website.

The exact number of Google sitelinks may vary for each website. A typical brand name search in Google can contain two, four, or six sitelinks displayed underneath the website name.

Here’s an example of what a Google sitelink looks like:

What are Google Sitelinks?

Google sitelinks are chosen by their algorithm to provide the best user experience because it allows users to head directly to the top pages without extra clicks.

If your website is brand new or does not get a lot of traffic, then Google may not display any sitelinks for your keyword.

Don’t worry, we’ll share some tips on how to influence Google sitelinks for your website. But before we do, let’s talk about why Google sitelinks are important.

Google sitelinks are coveted by business owners and SEO professionals because they help your brand stand out. Here are the top 5 reasons why Google sitelinks are important.

1. Google Sitelinks Improve Your Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

Studies show that the top 3 spots in Google get the most clicks. When sitelinks are shown for a specific brand, it takes up the same amount of space as three regular search listings.

This significantly increases your overall click-through rate. Simply put, more visitors will visit your website from the keyword.

Google Search Click-Through-Rate by Position

2. Google Sitelinks Help Build Trust and Credibility

As we mentioned earlier, Google Sitelinks are not shown for all websites. When Google display sitelinks for a brand, it means that a website is popular, well-optimized, and/or that Google believes the results are useful for the visitor.

Google sitelinks take up a lot of screen space (a.k.a digital real-estate). This tells the user that Google believes the #1 result is a lot more relevant than others on the page.

Google Sitelinks Above the Fold (Digital Real Estate)

On mobile, the same sitelinks take even more screen space, further highlighting the brands credibility.

3. Google Sitelinks Can Increase Product Awareness

Google sitelinks highlight the most important pages on the website. This is based on what Google’s algorithm believes to be the most relevant to the user’s search intent.

For a company like OptinMonster, this works out great because it lets new users quickly become aware of their product, features, pricing, and even blog content.

Google Sitelinks Key Product Pages

A new user may not know that the OptinMonster blog has the best conversion optimization tips, but because of Google sitelinks they’re more likely to check it out.

For an eCommerce website or online store, Google sitelinks may even show more personalized results to help users quickly discover and purchase available products.

For example, when we search for Apple, Google sitelinks are personalized to not only show the top Apple products but also the closest physical Apple stores.

Google Sitelinks Personalized Results

This lets us easily discover Apple’s top products, and even have one-click access to the stores, hours, and directions. This is extremely helpful and makes it much more likely for the user to make a purchase.

4. Google Sitelinks Allow Users to Discover Top Pages

Google sitelinks can also act as a great “Start Here” point for websites with a lot of content. This makes it easier for users to discover the top pages on your website.

For example, if a new user searches for WPBeginner, they will see our most popular (and most helpful) content first such as our Start Here page, our guide on How to Start a Blog, How to Make a Website, our 200+ WordPress tutorials category, our WordPress Beginner’s Guide category, and of course our popular WordPress blog.

WPBeginner Google Sitelinks

5. Google Sitelinks Search Lets Users Browse Deeper Pages

For some websites, Google sitelinks may be accompanied by a dedicated site-specific search box. This Google sitelinks search box allow users to search within the specific website directly from Google.

This is an extremely powerful feature, so Google only adds it for websites with a lot of content because they believe that including a search box will be the most useful for the user.

Google Sitelink search box only appears with sites that contain a lot of content like WPBeginner, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.

What are Google Sitelinks?

Now that you know the importance of Google sitelinks, let’s take a look at how you can add Google sitelinks to your website.

There’s no guaranteed way to get Google Sitelinks for your website. Unlike other SEO features, there’s no button that you can click in Google Search Console to enable sitelinks for your WordPress site.

Google sitelinks are automated, and they are displayed entirely based on Google’s algorithm. However you can follow certain SEO best practices to significantly improve your chances of getting Google sitelinks for your website.

Let’s take a look at the 8 best practices to get sitelinks for your website.

1. Your Website Name Must be Unique

Google sitelinks are primarily displayed on brand specific search queries, and they’re only added for the site that ranks #1 for that search results.

If you have a generic brand name like “Global HR Expert Consulting”, then you will likely struggle to rank at the top. Even if you get to position #1, Google still has a hard time deciding if the user is really searching for your company or the general topic.

This is why generic brand names don’t have sitelinks:

No Google Sitelinks for Generic Brands

Unless of course your brand becomes a household name like Apple, in which case Google knows the search intent is for people interested in the tech company, Apple, and not the fruit.

Since most companies will not have the marketing budget like Apple to become a worldwide brand, its better to select a more unique name for your company like WPBeginner, OptinMonster, etc.

Now if you already have an established brand, we definitely don’t recommend changing it just to get sitelinks because this is a very complicated task, and it has its own risks. For more details, see our guide on: how to move your site to a new domain.

2. Rank at Position #1 for Your Brand Name

As we mentioned earlier, Google sitelinks are only assigned to the first search result, so you need to work on ranking #1 for your brand term.

This can take some time for a new company, but with enough promotion you can get there.

For example, our new website, WP Mail SMTP, doesn’t rank #1 for its keyword, so we don’t have Google sitelinks yet.

Whereas our other new website, RafflePress ranks #1, so it has Google sitelinks.

RafflePress Site Link Example

To improve your website’s ranking, you need to follow our WordPress SEO guide and implement the best practices. You also need to do keyword research and write quality blog posts that are optimized for SEO. After that, you need get backlinks to your site.

3. Use Proper Structured Data for SEO

Search engines use automated bots to crawl and index your website. These search engine bots look for structured data to better understand what is the website and the specific page is about.

Structured data can help improve your chances of getting a Google sitelink, featured snippet, and even appear in the answers box.

You can set this up by using a WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO, All in One SEO, or another similar plugin that lets you add meta data and other schema elements.

Again like with anything else, Schema markups or Structured Data doesn’t guarantee that Google will add sitelinks, but it definitely improves your chances.

4. Have Clear Website Structure and Navigation

As a website owner, it is your job to make sure that Google and other search engines can easily find their way around your website.

You can do this by organizing your top pages in well-thought out hierarchical dropdown WordPress menus.

You can add breadcrumb navigation on your website to make it easy for users and search engines to see the site structure.

You also need to make sure that you have the important website pages like About, Pricing, Contact, etc created and linked from various areas of your website.

5. Create a Sitemap and Add Your Site to Google Search Console

Google and other search engines rely on XML sitemaps to properly discover and index all pages from your website.

You need to create an XML sitemap, and then submit it to Google search console.

This will make it easier for Google to discover all the pages on your site, and it can also help increase your chances of getting a Google sitelink.

6. Make Internal Linking a Habit

Internal linking is one of the most important part of on-page SEO. You need to make sure that you’re frequently linking to your top internal pages on your website.

Since Google uses backlinks as a ranking signal, internal linking helps Google see which pages are the most important on your site.

You can see how we have linked to various of our internal website content from this article.

7. Improve Page Titles and Make them Relevant

Page titles are probably the most important on-page SEO element. You need to make sure that your page title is relevant to the keyword you’re trying to rank for.

Google uses page titles to generate the sitelinks, so you need to make sure that your page titles are relevant.

TrustPulse team has done a great job with their page titles:

Google Sitelinks Generated from Page Title

You can define the post or page title inside your WordPress SEO plugin settings for that respective page.

8. Increase Your Brand Awareness

As we mentioned earlier, that Google sitelinks are typically shown for established websites.

You don’t have to be a big brand like Apple or WPBeginner, but you need to raise enough awareness for Google to notice you.

Your website’s authority and presence online plays an important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Here are few things you can do to boost your brand awareness:

  • Create social media profiles for your brand and make sure they link to you
  • Get positive business reviews about your brand on Facebook, Yelp, Google, and other review aggregators.
  • Guest blog on popular industry websites
  • Participate in community discussions and/or give interviews
  • Do press releases and reach out to news outlets to cover your brand

Brand awareness helps increase the number of brand search which is an indicator Google uses to determine if Sitelinks should be added for that particular term.

Just like Google sitelinks, the search box with sitelinks is also added based on Google’s discretion. The Google sitelinks search box is typically dedicated to websites with a large number of content such as WPBeginner, Wikipedia, YouTube etc.

What are Google Sitelinks?

With that said, you can add some code snippets on your website to encourage Google to display a site search box along with your Google sitelinks.

If you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin, then it adds the JSON+LD markup for site search automatically.

If you’re not, then you can use the Sitelinks Search Box plugin to add the relevant JSON LD schema markup.

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Sitelinks

In our Facebook Group and support channels, we have received many questions related to Google sitelinks. Below are the top ones.

How do I remove sitelinks from Google?

In the past, Google allowed webmasters to “demote” sitelinks from the Google search console. However that option was removed to simplify things. The only way to remove a specific page from Google sitelinks is to either delete the page or set it to noindex. There’s no way to disable Google sitelinks once they’re added unless you de-index your entire website which is not recommended.

How do I change Sitelinks in Google?

There is no way to change Sitelinks in Google. The Google algorithm automatically selects the relevant pages on your site and add it to the sitelink. You can customize the page titles, but it’s entirely up to Google as to what text they display. There’s no way to edit the text on Google sitelinks since it’s automated.

Can I pay to get Google sitelinks?

Sometimes beginners can confuse Google sitelinks with the Google Adwords Sitelink extension. When you’re paying for ads, Google lets you use the sitelink extension to add additional sublinks as part of your ad. This does not influence the Google sitelinks on your organic listing.

We hope this article helped you learn how to get Google sitelinks for your WordPress site. You may also want to see our guide on how to increase your blog traffic and how to monetize your blog.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How Much Does a Domain Name Really Cost? (Expert Answer)

If you have ever tried to register a domain name before, then you have likely seen a wide-variety of prices ranging from $9 to several thousand dollars.

The cost of a domain name varies based on the domain extension (such as .com, .org, .net), domain registrar, availability, and few other factors.

Apart from new domain names, you can also buy premium domain names from someone else who has registered it before you. Domain name investors often register premium domain names that are shorter, brandable, and easy to remember for the sole purpose of reselling.

In this article, we’ll explain how much does a domain name really costs. We’ll also show you different ways to buy a domain name including a way to get one for free.

How much does a domain name really cost

Since this is a comprehensive guide on domain name costs, we have broken it down into few sections:

How Much Does a New Domain Name Cost?

Buying a new domain name would typically cost you anywhere between $9 and $14.99 per year. However, these prices may differ based on the domain extension or the domain registrar you choose.

If you are starting a new website, then we recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the top web hosting companies in the world.

They are offering WPBeginner users a free domain name + free SSL certificate on top of the 60% discount on their web hosting plans.

→ Claim Your Free Domain Name with Bluehost ←

Since you need both a domain name and web hosting to make a website, this is the most affordable option to get started.

If you just want to purchase a domain name, then we recommend using Domain.com as your registrar. You can use our Domain.com coupon code to get 25% off your purchase.

Here is how much a new domain registration costs with different registrars.

  • Bluehost – Free domain with hosting $2.75 / month
  • Domain.com – $7.45 for .com domain names with our coupon code
  • HostGator – Free domain with hosting $2.64 / month
  • GoDaddy – $11.99
  • DreamHost – Free domain with hosting $2.59 / month

These prices are for new .com domain names only. The pricing of other extensions such as .net, .org, .info, .blog, etc. will vary based on the domain registrar you use.

When it comes to domain extensions, we always recommend users to use .com because it’s the most popular one.

Hidden Costs of a Domain Name

Aside from the domain registration cost, there are few hidden domain costs and upsells that you should be aware of, so you can make the most educated decision.

Yearly Renewals

Domain name registration is done on a yearly basis. You can maintain control over your domain name as long as you continue to renew your registration each year.

Some domain registrars offer domain name discounts on first year purchase, but their renewal costs are much higher. If you see a promotion where you can pay $0.99 for a domain name, then please know that it’s usually for first year only. Your annual renewals will be at a much higher price.

WHOIS and Domain Privacy

ICANN is the not-for-profit public-benefit corporation that is responsible for coordinating the assignment and maintenance of domain names. They require each domain registrar to collect contact information for the website owner.

This information can be publicly accessed using WHOIS data. Other businesses and companies can use this information to contact you about a potential business partnership.

Having the WHOIS data publicly available can result in unwanted emails and phone calls. This is why many domain registrars sell an add-on called Domain Privacy.

This addon typically costs an additional $9.99, and it’s completely optional. The problem is that often registrars automatically add it to the cart, and you have to manually remove it if you don’t want to pay for it.

Some registrars like DreamHost offer free domain privacy with their domains.

Business Email Accounts (Email Domains)

When buying a domain name, you will likely see an addon for email domains for setting up a professional business email address.

You do not need to buy this because you can get a free business email address with most web hosting companies.

If you want a more professional option, then we recommend buying this directly from G Suite or Microsoft Office365, so you’re not locked into a registrar.

Pro Tip: Secure Domain Discounts for Multiple Years

Some registrars like Domain.com allows you to pre-pay for multiple years upfront. This is a great way to get the introductory discount offer for multiple years.

Since you have to pay for domain renewals every year, pre-paying for multiple years can be a significant saving. Not to mention, it saves you from future price increases.

But these hidden fees and domain cost explanation is primarily for new domains that are available to register.

What about premium domains or domains that you buy from other people? Let’s take a look at the premium domain costs in details.

How Much Does a Premium Domain Name Cost?

Premium domain names are pre-registered domain names that are often shorter, brandable, and more memorable. Often domain investors register these premium domain names to sell later at a higher price for profit.

Cost of premium domain names can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. It all depends on the uniqueness of the name, domain length, and its overall brand potential.

Some premium domains may even cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Here are some of the most expensive domains sold in history:

  • Insurance.com – $35.6 million
  • PrivateJet.com – $30.18 million
  • Hotels.com – $11 million
  • Fb.com – $8.5 million
  • Business.com – $7.5 million

You can find premium domain names listed for sale by private sellers on various websites.

We recommend buying domain names from reputable websites to ensure a safe transfer of the domain name. See our guide on the best places to buy a premium domain name.

How to Estimate The Value of a Premium Domain Name?

Many beginners ask us about how to find the right offer to make for a premium domain or a pre-registered domain name?

Domain names that are already taken are often sold at a higher price. However, most of the time the asking price is outrageously high which discourages many inexperienced domain buyers from making an offer.

We recommend users to do some research and make a reasonable counter offer. Remember, the domain investor only makes money when they sell the domain.

Like most trades, the value of a premium domain largely depends on the maximum you’re willing to pay and the lowest the seller is willing to accept.

However, you can look at domain marketplaces like BuyDomains, Sedo, or Flippa to better understand the market rates, so you can make a respectable offer for a particular niche.

Flippa domains

If the domain you are looking for already has a listed price, then you can start by offering 50-75% of the listed price.

Note: Most domain value estimation tools are completely useless, so it’s best to avoid using them as a reference.

We recommend caution when buying a registered domain name. If you are unsure about the domain’s potential worth to your business, then simply walk away.

How Much Does an Expired Domain Names Cost?

Each day thousands of domain names expire. These are the domain names where the owner decided not to renew their registration, or they simply forgot about these domain names.

Expired domains provide an excellent opportunity to find great brandable domain name. The following are a few places where you can look for recently expired domain names.

1. FreshDrop

FreshDrop

FreshDrop is a domain marketplace that allows you to follow expired and soon to be expired domain names. It comes with an advanced search tool that you can use to narrow down your search.

2. ExpiredDomains

ExpiredDomains

ExpiredDomains is a search engine dedicated to expired domain names. It may not look as easy to use as other domain search tools but it has a large and constantly updated index of domain names.

Note: You need to check for domain abuse and other problems before buying a used, pre-registered, or expired domain names (more on this later).

Cost of Expired Domain Names

Normally, you can register an expired domain name at the usual yearly rates of your domain registrar company.

However if a domain name is soon to be expired, then you can use a domain backorder service. This allows you to place an advance order for the domain name.

If there is no other advance order for that domain name, then your order will become successful. Most domain name companies charge a small one-time fee ($25 – $99) to provide this service.

How to Buy a Domain Name Not Listed for Sale?

So far we have talked about the cost of domain names that are available for registration or sold by third-parties. What if you have your eye on a domain name that is already taken but not listed for sale?

There is a good chance that you can still get your hands on that particular domain name.

You see, many users register domain names to start a new online business idea. A lot of them end up never using that domain name or abandon the idea.

Since they’re not using the domain name, you can directly contact the domain owner to make an offer.

If the domain name has a website, then you can use the contact form on their website to reach out.

Alternatively, you can use the Whois search to find contact information of the domain owner and send them a message to show your interest.

Sometimes people register domain names for future ideas, so even if they’re not using it, they still wouldn’t want to sell it. Some folks get greedy and will ask for a premium to part ways with their domain.

Remember, you’re buying someone’s “dream idea”, so you need to be respectful but also realistic about the value.

Pro tip: If you have a business idea, then it’s better to register a domain name even if you’re not 100% sure. You don’t want to risk someone else registering it before you get around to it. We think of it as an insurance policy because a domain costs only $9.99.

Doing Your Homework Before Buying a Domain Name

If you are buying a domain name that has never been used before, then you are good to go.

However, if you are buying a domain name that was previously owned by someone else, then you need to do some basic due diligence.

These domain names could be violating copyright or trademark, used to distribute malware or spam, or misused in other malicious activities.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of tools that you can use to do your homework.

1. Check For Trademark

First, you would want to make sure that the domain name is not a registered trademark of an existing business.

According to ICANN rules, if a domain name violates a company’s registered trademark, then that company can claim the domain name or ask you to take it down.

You can check the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database to do a quick trademark search. Simply enter your domain name in the search box to see if it returns any matches.

Trademark search

2. Check Past Domain Name Usage

Next, you would want to see how the domain name has been used in the past. What kind of websites were made using that particular domain name?

The easiest way to do this is by using the Wayback Machine. It is a massive historical archive of the internet with snapshots of websites archived on a regular basis.

Wayback Machine

3. Check Historical Whois Records

Whois tools provides you historical whois records for a domain name. This helps you see when a domain name was created, last renewed, DNS changes, and other historical data.

Whois

4. Run a Domain Health Check Test

Finally, you need to make sure that the domain is not used to send spam, launch DDoS attacks, or spread malware. You can use MxToolBox’s domain health tool to see if raises any red flags.

Check domain health check

Frequently Asked Questions About Domain Name Costs

Having helped thousands of users start a blog and website, we have answered a lot of questions related to domain names. Below are some of the most common ones:

Can I get a domain name for free?

While domain name typically costs $14.99 / year, you can get a domain name for free as a bundled offer with various web hosting companies.

Hosting companies like Bluehost, HostGator, Dreamhost, GreenGeeks, and others offer free domains with their web hosting packages.

Which is the best domain name registrar?

We believe that Domain.com is the best registrar right now because they have the features you need, and they’re offering a 25% off discount.

However it’s a smarter money decision to get a free domain with web hosting like Bluehost because it saves you time and money.

You can always transfer your domain name to another popular domain name registrar if you’re not happy with your existing provider.

Do I need both domain name and web hosting to build a website?

Yes, you need both the domain name and web hosting to build a website. Domain name is your website’s address on the internet whereas web hosting is where your website files are stored. For more details, see our guide on difference between domain name vs web hosting (explained).

Can I buy a domain name forever (permanently)?

No, you cannot buy a domain name permanently. Domain name registration is done on a yearly basis. However, you can pre-pay for up to 10 years which guarantees that you will have a domain name for 10 years.

How much does a domain name cost on Wix vs WordPress?

When using a hosted website builder platform, the cost of your domain name will vary. It’s important to remember that website builder platforms offer a combination of hosting + domain.

For example, Wix domains cost $14.95 / year, but they are free if you choose the annual plan which costs $13 / month.

WordPress.com domains cost $18 / year, but they are included for free with the annual Personal plan which costs $8 / month.

But if you use a self-hosted WordPress platform, then you can start a website with Bluehost for $2.75 per month, and it comes with a free domain name. For more details, see the difference between WordPress.com vs self-hosted WordPress.org.

We hope this article helped you learn how much does a domain name really cost. You may also want to see our guide on how much does it really cost to build a WordPress website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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Best Website Builder for Small Business: 5 Tools Compared for 2020

If you are uncertain how to find the best website builder for small business, you might have just landed on the right web page! Going ahead, we have tested a few great website builders that would be particularly useful for small businesses.

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Website

How to Prevent Clients from Deactivating WordPress Plugins

Do you want to prevent clients from accidentally deactivating WordPress plugins on the website?

If you make websites for clients, then you probably already have a favorite toolkit of must-have WordPress plugins to install on each site. You may also add custom code snippets inside site-specific plugins for that client.

However, clients can accidentally deactivate one of those plugins, which may affect their site’s functionality or even break it completely.

In this article, we’ll show you how to safely prevent clients from deactivating WordPress plugins without restricting their control on the website.

How to stop clients from deactivating crucial plugins in WordPress

We will cover two methods, and you can choose the one that works best for you. We’ll also discuss some alternative approaches along the way.

Let’s start with the easiest option.

Method 1. Prevent Plugin Deactivation in WordPress by Using a Plugin

This method is easier and less intrusive. It also gives all users with administrator role full control, and they can turn it off whenever they want.

Basically, we will be using a plugin that will remove the ‘Deactivate’ link from all plugins. Users would still be able to install new plugins and can disable this prevention anytime at their own risk.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the Disable Plugin Deactivation plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Plugins » Plugin Deactivation Settings page to configure plugin options.

Disable Plugin Deactivation settings

Simply select ‘Enable’ next to ‘Disable Plugin Deactivation’ option to turn off the ‘Deactivate’ link for all plugins.

Optionally, you can also disable plugin activation which will stop users from activating any other plugin. You can also turn off plugin deletion and prevent users from installing plugin updates.

Note: You should never disable plugin updates on client sites. This would compromise WordPress security and make your client vulnerable to security threats.

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save changes’ button to store your settings.

You can now visit the plugins page to see the plugin in action. You’ll not see the ‘Deactivate’ link below any of the active plugins on the website.

No deactivation

The plugin provides an easier and non-obtrusive way to disable the plugin deactivation option. However, your clients can simply go to Plugins » Plugin Deactivation Settings page and disable this feature.

Method 2. Prevent Specific Plugins from Deactivation

This method allows you to prevent deactivation of a single plugin or a group of specific plugins installed on a website.

You’ll need to add code to your WordPress website. If you have not done this before, then take a look at our guide on how to easily add code snippets in WordPress.

First, you need to find the plugin locations that you want to disable. WordPress plugins are stored in the wp-content folder on your website.

You can view this folder by connecting to your WordPress hosting account using an FTP client. Inside the plugins folder, you’ll see different folders for each plugin installed on that website.

Plugins folder

Inside each folder, you’ll also find a plugin file, which is usually named after the plugin and ends with .php extension.

Next, you need to add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.

add_filter( 'plugin_action_links', 'disable_plugin_deactivation', 10, 4 );
function disable_plugin_deactivation( $actions, $plugin_file, $plugin_data, $context ) {

	if ( array_key_exists( 'deactivate', $actions ) && in_array( $plugin_file, array(
		'wpforms/wpforms.php',
		'woocommerce/woocommerce.php'
	)))
		unset( $actions['deactivate'] );
	return $actions;
}

As you can see in the above code, we have disabled deactivation for two plugins, WPForms and WooCommerce.

We have added the plugins by mentioning their location inside the plugins folder. For example, wpforms/wpforms.php

Don’ forget to replace plugin locations with the plugins that you want to protect.

You can now visit the plugins page, and you will notice the deactivate link disappear below those plugins.

Specific plugins protected

This method is better as it only affects crucial plugins. Your clients will still be able to deactivate other plugins, install new plugins, delete plugins, and update all plugins.

Limiting Plugin Access by User Roles and Permissions

WordPress comes with a built-in user role management system. A default WordPress installation comes with the following user roles:

To learn more, see our complete beginner’s guide to WordPress user roles and permissions.

Only the Administrator user role has permission to manage plugins. If you are making a website for a client, then you can create two user accounts for them.

One with the Administrator privileges, which will allow them to manage the website on their own. After that, you can add a second user account with the Editor user role. Your clients can use it to create content.

This would reduce the chances that they will accidentally deactivate crucial plugins. You’ll need to educate them to use the Administrator account carefully for installing updates or adding new users.

Alternately, you can create a custom user role with a specific set of permissions. This way you can create a user role that can modify themes but cannot manage plugins.

We hope this article helped you learn how to prevent clients from deactivating WordPress plugins. You may also want to see our guide on how to create a custom WordPress login page for your clients.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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