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WPBeginner is 7 – Reflections and Updates

Wow, it’s the seventh fourth. Still feels crazy to think that WPBeginner is 7 years old, and I have been using WordPress for the last 10 years of my life.

Like every year, I want to do a quick recap of all the major things that are happening in my life and in my business.

WPBeginner Turns 7

WPBeginner Story

I started using WordPress when I was 16 years old and started WPBeginner at age 19 with a single mission: make WordPress easy for beginners.

Since then, WPBeginner has become one of the largest free WordPress resource site in the world.

For those of you who’re new, you can read the full WPBeginner story on our about page.

Personal Updates

2016 is a HUUGEE year for me personally because a lot of things are changing.

My wife (Amanda) just finished her PhD in Clinical Psychology last week, and we are now moved into our new house in West Palm Beach.

We are expecting our first baby (November 2016).

Here’s my most recent profile picture, and if you’re interested, you can check out my personal blog.

Syed Balkhi

WPBeginner Updates

Thanks to you all, WPBeginner has grown consistently (year over year). We have been working hard to keep adding new tutorials while making sure our older tutorials stay up to date.

There have been a few notable changes that I think you’d like to know:

1. WP.org to WordPress

At this time last year, if you had typed the domain wp.org, then you would have been redirected to WPBeginner. Earliest last month, we donated the two letter domain name to the WordPress foundation.

See the full blog post to read more details.

2. WPBeginner YouTube

Last year when I was writing this post, the WPBeginner YouTube channel had a little under 19k subscribers and had 1.6 million video views with a total of 394 video tutorials.

We changed our strategy a little bit. Instead of producing a new video every week day, we’re now releasing a video once a week. This has helped us produce better videos (as proven by engagement).

Right now we have 492 total video tutorials that have been viewed a total of 4.4 million times. We are also at 37,000 subscribers strong.

If you haven’t subscribed, then it would be really awesome if you do.

3. Firewall and Speed

We started using the Sucuri firewall, and it’s been an amazing experience. Within the first 3 months, they helped us block over 450,000 attacks. Not to mention, it also helped speed up our website and reduce server load.

If you’re serious about your website, then I highly recommend it. Read the full Sucuri Review.

WPForms and MonsterInsights

We added two new products to our suite this year.

WPForms, the most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. We launched it in March and have already passed 50,000 downloads. It’s growing fast because I personally believe it’s the best solution in the market.

In this year’s WPBeginner survey, a lot of you wanted us to build an analytics solution for WordPress that’s easy to use. Keeping that in mind, we acquired the popular Google Analytics by Yoast plugin and renamed it to MonsterInsights.

This plugin has over 11 million downloads, but I don’t want you to download it YET. Quite frankly, I’m embarrassed of the plugin’s current state. That’s why we are revamping the entire plugin to make it more user friendly, so it can actually help you grow your business.

Although part of me want you to download it, so when we do release our revamp update beginning of September, you can truly appreciate the improvements.

OptinMonster (Powerhouse)

OptinMonster is our biggest product. It helps you grow your email list by converting abandoning website visitors into subscribers and customers.

This year, we made OptinMonster even more powerful than it was.

You can now do Yes / No campaigns, Dynamic Text Replacement, Content Locking, Onsite retargeting and advanced conditional logic.

Just watch the video below and see how powerful it is:

Subscribe to WPBeginner

Envira Gallery Growth

Last October, we redesigned Envira Gallery website and instantly doubled our sales (case study).

After that, we created a completely new gallery workflow to make it easier for users to use all the new features that we added.

The combination of these two things have catalyzed Envira’s growth. We now have over 420,000 downloads.

I’m extremely proud of the Envira team, and super excited for the future.

Soliloquy – A New Beginning

Soliloquy WordPress Slider is our oldest product, and it’s been the most stable.

But compared to all of our other products, Soliloquy looked a bit dated. That’s why last month, we revamped Soliloquy (both website and the plugin).

I’m going to gather some more data before I post another case study on how the redesign affects our sales.

But do check out the updates, the new site design looks super slick. We also launched a Featured Content addon, WooCommerce Addon, Schedule addon, and more.

Thank You Everyone

I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us in this journey. I really do appreciate all of your retweets, personal emails, content suggestions, and the in-person hugs / interactions at the events.

You all are AMAZING and without you, there is no WPBeginner.

I look forward to another solid year ahead of us.

Syed Balkhi
Founder of WPBeginner

P.S. We’re hiring a full-time (remote work) WordPress Plugin Developer. If you or someone you know would be interested in being part of our team, then please apply here.



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What’s Coming in WordPress 4.6 (Features and Screenshots)

The beta version of WordPress 4.6 has been released. We followed the development closely and excited to report that the final version is expected to be released around August 16, 2016. In this article, we will highlight what’s coming in WordPress 4.6 with features and screenshots.

What's coming in WordPress 4.6

Note: You can try out the beta version on your computer or on a staging environment by using the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

This is the beta release, which means no more new features will be added until the final release of WordPress 4.6. However, some of the features in beta may not make it into the final release.

Shiny Updates in WordPress 4.6

When users installed a new plugin or theme, or updated one, they usually saw a progress screen. This progress screen added one more page load and was a bit distracting.

WordPress 4.6 will introduce shiny updates. Users will now be able to update and install plugins and themes without being redirected to the progress screen.

Shiny updates in WordPress 4.6

Native System Fonts in WordPress Admin Area

WordPress started using Open Sans font in WordPress admin area to offer a consistent look across different devices and platforms. However, this meant that WordPress to rely on an external third party source. This also increased page load times of admin area, and affected speed.

With WordPress 4.6, the admin area will revert back to using the system fonts. This means that your WordPress admin area may look slightly different on different platforms.

Here is a screenshot of admin area in Safari web browser on macOS using system font San Francisco.

Native System Fonts

These are the system fonts that will be used in WordPress admin area on different platforms and environments.

  • apple-system for Safari and Firefox on macOS and iOS
  • Helvetica Neue on macOS prior to 10.11
  • BlinkMacSystemFont for Google Chrome on macOS
  • Segoe UI for Windows
  • Roboto for Android and Chrome OS
  • Oxygen-Sans for KDE
  • Ubuntu for Ubuntu
  • Cantarell for GNOME
  • sans-serif, the standard fallback

Note: This change only affects the UI elements of WordPress admin area. It will not content areas like post editor which uses your theme’s editor stylesheet for fonts.

Editor Improvements in 4.6

Most WordPress users spend more time on post editor than any other admin screen on their site. Improving post editing experience always takes priority in new WordPress releases.

Improved Auto Save Feature

WordPress 4.6 brings improvements to autosave feature in WordPress. Previously, when users disabled revisions, it also affected restoring posts from autosave feature.

WordPress 4.6 will fix this issue and users can restore WordPress posts from browser backups and autosave even when they have revisions disabled.

Highlighting Broken Links

If you are using the visual editor to write posts, then adding a broken URL will be highlighted.

As soon as you add a link, WordPress will check if the link is valid. If you take the cursor to the linked text, then you will see the link in red color instead of the usual blue.

Broken links will be highlighted in WordPress 4.6

Under The Hood Improvements

These updates improve significant parts of WordPress core but are mainly intended for developers.

Standardized Metadata Registration

WordPress 4.6 brings register_meta() function for the registration of meta keys. This function works like register_post_type() function. It allows plugins and theme developers to use a standardized way to work with meta data stored with posts, users, comment, or terms object types. (#35658)

New WP_Post_Type Class

WordPress 4.6 will introduce the new WP_Post_Type class. It changes $wp_post_types to an array of WP_Post_Type objects. This provides methods to handle post type supports, rewrite rules, meta boxes, hooks, and taxonomies. (#36217)

New WP_Term_Query Class

Similar to WP_Query, WP_User_Query, and WP_Comment_Query classes, WP_Term_Query in WordPress 4.6 will provide a better structure for generating term queries. (#35381)

WP_Site_Query and WP_Network_Query Classes

For WordPress multisite networks, the new WP_Site_Query and WP_Network_Query classes allow querying sites and networks with lazy loading. (#35791, #32504)

We hope this article helped you learn what’s coming in WordPress 4.6. Let us know which features you find exciting and what you would like to see in future releases of WordPress?

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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WPBeginner Exclusive – Bluehost $2.95 / month + Free Domain (Limited Time Deal)

Looking to start a new blog, switch hosting providers, or transfer from WordPress.com? Let us make it easy for you. Our friends over at Bluehost has agreed to offer all WPBeginner users a limited time deal: 60% discount and a free domain name.

Bluehost 2.95 Special

This super exclusive offer expires on July 26th, 2016 (11:59 PM MST) and is only being offered through WPBeginner.

You can start your blog for as low as $2.95 / month which is their lowest price ever → Claim this Offer ←

Why Bluehost? Because they are an official WordPress recommended hosting provider.

Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies on the web (started in 1996 – older than Google). They are the largest brand name in WordPress hosting and host millions of websites including several of our own.

Full Disclosure: When you purchase using our referral link, at no additional cost to you, we will receive a small commission. We would get this referral fee for recommending just about any other company, but we only recommend products that we personally use and/or believe will add value to our readers.

Who is this offer great for?

Well everyone, but in particular: those starting a new blog or switching from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog.

We have written a full article on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, but here’s the summary of why you should use self-hosted WordPress:

  • You get a free domain name (only if you go with Bluehost)
  • You have access to more themes and design customization options.
  • You can install plugins.
  • You can run your own ads without any restrictions.
  • You can create your own store.
  • You own and control your content (whereas on WordPress.com you are restricted to their Terms of Service, and they often show ads to your users unless you pay them not to).

Not convinced yet?

Bonus offer: Our expert team will help you get started. Bluehost promised us that if you signup using our referral link, then they will compensate us to do the blog setup for you. We will even migrate your WordPress.com blog over to self-hosted WordPress. Here’s how to claim this offer:

1. Signup using our referral link

2. Fill out the form on this page and that’s it!

Who Shouldn’t Use this Offer?

This offer is not good for everyone. Our goal at WPBeginner is to guide the users to make the best decision regardless of whether we get paid or not.

The biggest catch here is the term “unlimited space and bandwidth”, and we want to explain that.

The way these shared hosting companies are able to offer such affordable prices is by allowing multiple users to share a large server. By having multiple sites on the same server, it allows them to reduce costs for everyone.

Think of the savings as riding a bus vs your own car.

Having that said, there is no such thing as unlimited. While it says unlimited, you still have usage restrictions. If your site starts to take up substantial server load, then they will politely force you to upgrade. If they don’t take this action, then it has negative effects on the overall performance of every other site sharing the same server.

As conventional wisdom goes, your overhead costs will grow with your business!

If your website is getting millions of pageviews per month, then this $2.95 hosting plan won’t work for you. You should look into getting a VPS or even managed WordPress hosting.

However if you are just starting out or have a small business website, then there is no reason for you to pay hundreds of dollars each month for resources you won’t use. You should absolutely definitely take advantage of this shared hosting offer.

→ Signup with Bluehost Now ← – Lowest prices ever + a free domain name.



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