Managing access to Yoast SEO with SEO roles

It may be one of Yoast SEO’s lesser-known features: SEO roles. A site admin can determine in the backend of WordPress who gets access to the various settings and features of Yoast SEO. This makes for a more fluid and flexible access protocol for different kinds of users on a site. It is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution, but a more tailored one. SEO roles make Yoast SEO even more powerful for every type of user. Here, we’ll explain why these roles are so awesome.

Managing user roles in Yoast SEO

It used to be quite the challenge to use Yoast SEO in a larger site environment. As an admin, you’d have to choose between offering users full access to the plugin or just access to the SEO post editor part. That means a regular user couldn’t use the redirect manager, for instance, and had to ask an admin for help every time he or she wanted to add, change or delete redirects. We’ve seen it happing here at Yoast as well. Of course, there’s a whole range of possible permissions in between. Yoast SEO provides the option for two roles that make this a lot easier to manage: the SEO manager and SEO editor, in addition to the admin who determines who gets to see what.

Roles and capabilities

Roles in Yoast SEO consist of one or more capabilities, like:

  • managing options (this gives you full access),
  • managing redirects,
  • editing advanced metadata,
  • access to the bulk editor.

The SEO editor, for instance, can now make redirects, but cannot change the settings of the plugin or access the advanced metadata editor of Yoast SEO. This way, the SEO editor has more access than a regular user, but less than the SEO manager who can manage settings as well. If you use a permission or role manager plugin for WordPress like Justin Tadlock’s excellent Members plugin, you get even more fine-grained control over the capabilities within Yoast SEO. This way, you can mix and match capabilities in any form you’d like.

In Yoast SEO Premium, we’ve also added the capability to manage redirects without having to be an administrator. By activating this, users within a specific role get full access to the redirect manager. No longer do site managers have to be swamped with redirects requests by site editors, they can manage those themselves. Personally, I like that a lot. By adding some magic code to the plugin, the redirect manager now shows up in the WordPress sidebar menu, even if your Yoast SEO menu is hidden by default. How cool is that?!

Managing your site has never been easier

The SEO roles in Yoast SEO make it incredibly easy to give more people working on your site access to the features and settings they need, without granting them full access. Does your site editor need to edit advanced metadata? No? Block it in Yoast SEO. Does he or she need to manage redirects and do large-scale SEO optimizations with the bulk editor? Great, grant him or her access to these parts of the plugin. You can do this and more – all from the admin dashboard of Yoast SEO!

Read more: Yoast SEO 5.5: Introducing SEO roles »

The post Managing access to Yoast SEO with SEO roles appeared first on Yoast.

The Block Editor/Gutenberg: Why you should be using it

At Yoast, we truly believe you should be using the Block Editor (formerly known as Gutenberg) in WordPress, simply because it’s a much better experience than the ‘classic editor’. Unfortunately, when we look at our statistics, we see that a large segment of our users still uses the classic editor. This makes us sad, but also makes us want to explain why you really should start switching over.

When we talk about Gutenberg/the Block Editor within the WordPress community, there are always a lot of emotions involved. A large percentage of these emotions were down to the release process of Gutenberg. I have certainly also been critical of that process. But, while that launch could undoubtedly have been handled better, it shouldn’t cloud our judgment of the product. Unfortunately, some of that negativity has spilled into the wider world without the context, and that really is a shame.

In our eyes, it’s simple: the Block Editor is now much better than when it launched. Smashing Magazine did a good post mortem. In their post, they also differentiate between the problematic launching process and its current state. And, they assess it to be very good at the moment. It’s important to note that the Block Editor is still under heavy development within the Gutenberg project. The current version of the Block Editor is much, much better than what it was like a year ago. In fact, I can say it’s very good.

Why you should switch to the Block Editor

The Gutenberg project and with it, the Block Editor is literally where all the innovation in the WordPress space is happening. Think of it this way: the only car race you’re going to win by using old technology, is a classic car race. If you want to win in SEO in the next few years, I guarantee you’ll need to be on the Block Editor. If you’re not, and if some of your competitors are, they’re going to beat you.

While the Block Editor may be very good, you may think: why would I switch? If the classic editor is working for me, so why bother? Well: the Block Editor is only step one in a longer process. More and more parts of the WordPress admin will start using blocks, and because of that, getting familiar with the Block Editor is essential.

Future versions will iterate on what the Block Editor already does, moving to site-wide editing, instead of just the content area. The first required step for that is defining content edit areas, something Matias discussed in this post on Make Core, one of the blogs of the core WordPress development team. That post by Matias prompted this post by Justin Tadlock on how the Gutenberg project is shaping the future of WordPress themes. This is getting me, and our entire team at Yoast, very excited.

The Gutenberg project aims at making WordPress easier to use. That’s a long term goal, but it’s already doing that now too. When we have site-wide editing, we won’t need to teach people how to use widgets anymore: they’ll be the same as the blocks they see in the editor. In fact, the entire distinction will be gone.

Reasons to use the Block Editor now

Besides all of these great developments, you really should use the Block Editor now and stop using the classic editor. Let me give you an overview of simple and clear reasons. With the Block Editor:

  • You will be able to build layouts that you can’t make in TinyMCE. Most of the stuff we did for our recent digital story required no coding. Plugins like Grids make it even easier to make very smooth designs.
  • You can make FAQs and HowTo’s that’ll look awesome in search results. Our Yoast SEO Schema blocks are already providing an SEO advantage that is unmatched. For instance, check out our FAQ blocks.
  • Simple things like images next to paragraphs and other things that could be painful in TinyMCE have become so much better in Gutenberg. Want multiple columns? You can have them, like that, without extra coding.
  • Speaking of things you couldn’t do without plugins before: you can now embed tables in your content, just by adding a table block. No plugins required.
  • Creating custom blocks is relatively simple, and allows people to do 90% of the custom things they would do with plugins in the past, but easier. It becomes even easier when you use a plugin like ACF Pro or Block Lab to build those custom blocks.
  • Custom blocks, or blocks you’ve added with plugins, can be easily found by users just by clicking the + sign in the editor. Shortcodes, in the classic editor, didn’t have such a discovery method.
  • Re-usable blocks allow you to easily create content you can re-use across posts or pages, see this nice tutorial on WP Beginner.

There are many more nice features; please share yours in the comments!

Finally, it’s good to know that WordPress 5.3, slated for November 12th, will have the best version of the Block Editor yet. If you want that experience now, you can! Just install Gutenberg: the plugin.

If you haven’t used the Block Editor recently: go, try it! I’m sure you’ll be happy with it.

The post The Block Editor/Gutenberg: Why you should be using it appeared first on Yoast.

BuddyPress 5.0, WP 5.3 Beta 2 and translating WordPress 5.3

The work on WordPress 5.3 continued in various areas last week and we also saw a big update to one of my favorite social tools for WordPress. Alongside some bonus links, I present you this week’s WordPress Watch!

BuddyPress 5.0

If you’ve never heard of BuddyPress, it’s a plugin that adds a very feature-rich set of social network options to your site. It allows you to create a social network site with features as you’ll see on Facebook. Groups, member profiles, friends, and much more. BuddyPress has been around for almost a decade, but it’s seen a steady update of options keeping it up to date.

One of the biggest changes is the 5.0 release of last week. With it, BuddyPress has integrated with the REST API fully and is now featuring the BP REST API. This means there are endpoints for members, groups, activities, users, private messages, screen notifications, and extended profiles. All of this is making BuddyPress so much more extendable. But there’s even more in this 5.0 release. Learn more about the plugin and this release in the release notes.

WordPress 5.3 Beta 2

Even though the Beta 1 of WordPress 5.3 was only just released, we already have the second beta available for testing. Go and check out what changed for this second beta. Please remember to always back up your site and database when testing beta software!

Translating WordPress 5.3

A part of the success of WordPress can be attributed to its availability in various languages. And the cool part about it is that you can help with this! It’s how I got sucked into the WordPress Community back in 2008.

WordPress 5.3 is available for translation as of last week. Dominik Schilling posted an update over at the WordPress PolyGlots site stating that the 5.3 project is ready for your contributions. You’ll need to be able to speak and write in another language besides English, of course, but don’t let that stop you.

WordPress 5.3 introduces about 380 changed text strings, which is not a lot per se, but it’s good to know that the text strings for the About page have not been added yet. This will happen between now and the string freeze right before the first Release Candidate.

Bonus Links

There were two articles shared last week about accessibility that I’d love to share with you.

The post BuddyPress 5.0, WP 5.3 Beta 2 and translating WordPress 5.3 appeared first on Yoast.

What’s inside WordPress 5.3 Beta 1

It’s been a busy week for WordPress. WordPress 5.3 finally saw its first beta released and it is jam-packed with great features and improvements. In this edition of WordPress Watch, I’ll highlight some of those features. And of course, I have a few bonus links for you as well. Let’s see what this new WordPress version is all about!

WordPress 5.3 Beta 1

The first beta of WordPress 5.3 has been released. And, it holds a lot of changes. I’ve covered quite a few of them in my WordPress Watch posts here, but I want to give you a short overview of what you can expect.

Block Editor

The Block Editor, or Gutenberg editor, has seen a steady output of releases every other week for the last couple of months. WordPress 5.3 will include the current state of Gutenberg, version 6.5, into core. And that’s a huge update. Just to give you an idea of all the changes, here’s an overview of the most interesting ones:

  • Group block and grouping interactions
  • Gallery block improvements (reordering inline, caption support)
  • Accessibility Navigation Mode, which will allow you to navigate with the keyboard between blocks without going into their content.
  • Columns block improvements (width support + patterns)

But that’s not all. With the inclusion of Gutenberg 6.5, the block editor will also see a significant bump in speed. Since WordPress 5.2, the team working on the block editor managed to shave off 1.5 seconds of loading time for a particularly sizeable post – think in the range of more than 35 thousand words.

No more unwanted time-traveling with WordPress

As mentioned here before, Andrey Savchenko took it upon himself to fix WordPress’ erratic behavior concerning how date and time are stored. Andrey’s fix made it into WordPress 5.3, so that makes for a lot more stability and no more unwanted ‘time-traveling’ with WordPress! Andrey wrote up exactly what was changed and how that may impact you.

New Admin Email Verification Screen

WordPress 5.3 will also introduce a new admin email verification screen that will be shown every six months after an administrator has logged in. WP Tavern covered this new feature recently and if you’d like to know more about it, I encourage you to read it.

Even more improvements and new features

You might think that the features mentioned above, combined with the inclusion of the new default Twenty Twenty theme, are already enough to constitute a new major WordPress release. And perhaps you’re right, but there’s more. A lot more actually. You can check out all the new features and improvements in the announcement post for WordPress 5.3 Beta 1.

Twenty Twenty

With the first beta of WordPress, we also got our hands on the new default theme Twenty Twenty. Justin Tadlock over at the WP Tavern wrote extensively about what it looks like and how it works, so do check it out if you’re curious what it will look like. I do have to say, Twenty Twenty is the first default theme in a very long time that has me excited about a default theme.

Bonus links

The post What’s inside WordPress 5.3 Beta 1 appeared first on Yoast.

How to use WordPress: Answering 12 common WordPress questions

WordPress is huge. According to the latest stats, WordPress powers almost 35% of the web — and growing quickly. With so many sites using the CMS and so many new sites bursting onto the scene, there’re a lot of new users taking their first steps in the wonderful world of WordPress. People from all walks of life and many of them are bound to ask the same questions about using WordPress. That’s one of the reasons why we launched a free WordPress for Beginners course. In addition, you can quickly get answers to common WordPress questions in this big guide.

New to WordPress? Don’t worry! Our FREE WordPress for beginners training is here to help. Find out how to set up your own site, learn the ins and outs of creating and maintaining it, and more. Soon you’ll be able to do it all by yourself!

Table of contents

1. How to start a WordPress site?

So you’ve decided to start your own blog. Hooray! Before you start blogging away, you’ll have to take some steps, like setting up your own WordPress site. But there’s more to starting your own blog! Here, we’ll give you some more pointers on how to hit the ground running.

A purpose, niche, but don’t forget to have fun!

While years ago you’d follow blogs because of the person behind them, nowadays it’s all about answering people’s questions, a purpose for your blog and link building. Or that’s what it might look like. Don’t forget that blogging should be fun, as it is fun! There’s no such thing as too many blogs, as there’s no one like you. It’s cliche, but it’s the truth. 

Before you start your blog, you need to decide whether you just want to write for fun or to help others and get high rankings. In the first case, you can start a personal lifestyle blog with everything you love. In the second case, you might need to find yourself a niche as this will increase your chance of ranking tremendously.

When you know who you’re writing for and what to write about, you can start working on your first blog posts! Want to make sure this post will be awesome? Then read this step-by-step guide on how to craft the perfect blog post.

Read more: How to start a blog »

2. How to choose a host for your WordPress site?

What to look for in a WordPress host? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of WordPress hosts. How to pick one that’s perfect for you? Check out this curated list of WordPress hosts that we’ve gathered, and consider the following aspects when making a decision.

Speed and stability

Are you going for a small travel blog? Or are you planning to cater to the clothing needs of half a country? Based on what you’re planning to do with your website, you should pick a host that has reliable uptime and keeps running during busy hours. Make sure they can provide a seamless way for you to grow. Because as you gather more daily visitors, you will need to upgrade your hosting at some point.

Accessibility and services

It is good to know if your host provides a support crew that is willing and able to help you with both your financial and technical questions. The following services might also be useful:

  • Alternative ways to access your data in case your WordPress website breaks.
  • A user‑friendly control panel that suits your needs.
  • The service to register and/or maintain domain names.

Security

Even if you don’t know much about the internet and security, you want your websites’ visitors to be safe. Go for a hosting provider that, at the very least, offers the following:

  • (Installation of) Paid or free SSL certificates.
  • Up‑to‑date server software.
  • Continuous malware/virus scans.

Optionally, check for:

  • The option for a 1-click staging environment: this makes building and maintaining a  site much easier.
  • Data retention and regulation protocols: based on your country’s laws, make sure you know where the data is stored and how it is handled.
  • Backup services: if something breaks, you will want to be able to restore it quickly.

A decent firewall (sometimes provided as an additional service, like CloudFlare).

3. How to get to the WordPress dashboard

The WordPress dashboard is the first thing you see when you log into WordPress. From there, you see an overview of various dashboard widgets with relevant information. For instance, our Yoast SEO dashboard widget gives you a quick overview of the SEO health of your site. 

But if you’ve never logged into your WordPress dashboard before, finding it can be a little tricky. When you installed WordPress, you were guided into the WordPress dashboard automagically after the installation process. However, if you haven’t saved the URL of your WordPress dashboard, logging back in is not that easy. 

Luckily, there’s a solution that works for all WordPress sites. When you add /login/ or /admin/ to the URL of your site, you will be sent to the login screen. Upon logging in, you’ll be sent to your WordPress dashboard. So what does that look like? If your domain, for example, is everydayimtravelling.com, the login URL would become everydayimtravelling.com/admin/ and this will prompt you with the login screen. For future convenience, bookmark that page as soon as you’re logged in so you’ll even have a quicker way to log in.

4. How to install and activate a WordPress theme 

A theme governs the layout of your WordPress site. That includes, among other things, the appearance of your posts and pages, and the location of the menus and sidebars. Not surprisingly, finding the right theme is quite important for your website as it makes your site stand out from the masses. But, with so many choices out there, that may be harder than it seems. So, make sure to spend some time and effort and choose the best WordPress theme for your site.

Once you have chosen a theme, installing and activating it is easy. There are two ways to install a new theme in WordPress.

A. Installing a theme from the WordPress directory:

You can install a theme from the WordPress repository. In addition, it is also possible to buy premium themes from a variety of sellers. To install and activate a theme, follow these steps or check out the free WordPress for beginners course.

  1. Open the Themes overview screen
    In the admin menu in your WordPress Backend, click on Appearance, then Themes. The Themes overview screen will open. 
  2. Click the Add New button or the Add New Theme area
    At the top of the screen, you’ll find the Add new button. Alternatively, in the themes overview area, there is an Add New Theme square. Click on either one, to open the screen with available themes.
  3. Preview the theme
    Before you install a theme, it is a good idea to see how it looks on your site. You can do this by hitting the Preview button. Note, this is not an exact match of your site, but it does give you a really good idea if the theme fits your goals.
  4. Install the theme
    Hover over the theme you want to use and click Install. The Install button will transform into an Activate button.
  5. Activate the theme
    Click the Activate button. The theme will be activated, and it will change the appearance of your website. 
  6. Go check what your site looks like on the front end!

B. Upload a theme

You can also add a theme that you’ve downloaded from outside the WordPress directory, this could be from one of the many online theme shops out there. The theme will have to be in a .zip format! To install and activate it, follow these steps or check out the free WordPress for beginners training

  1. In the Themes overview screen, click Add New
    Once you have accessed the Themes overview screen through the admin menu, you’ll see the Add New button at the top of the screen as well as the Add New Theme square in the area below. Click either one to open the screen with available themes. 
  2. Click the upload theme button
    At the top of the screen with available themes is the Upload Theme button. Click the button. You’ll see the new option to upload a .zip file.
  3. Click the Choose file button
    Once you click the button, a dialogue box will appear, that will allow you to choose files from your computer. Find and select the .zip file that you previously downloaded.
  4. Install the theme
    Click the Install Now button. Your theme will be installed and added to your themes overview.
  5. Activate the theme
    In the themes overview screen, hover over the theme, and click Activate. The theme will activate, and it will change the appearance of your website.
  6. Go check what your site looks like on the front end

Curious for more? Check out this lesson on themes of the free WordPress for beginners course.

5. How to install a WordPress plugin

Plugins can change or improve the functionality of your site in various ways. As a WordPress user, you’ll surely need to install a plugin at some point. How do you do that? Easy. You can do it in two ways. Either install a plugin from the WordPress plugin directory or upload a plugin you have downloaded from a third-party. Please note that only free and approved plugins are featured in the WordPress plugin directory.

A. Install a plugin from the WordPress directory

Let’s start by installing a plugin from the WordPress directory. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Access the WordPress plugin directory
    In the WordPress backend, go to the admin menu. Hover over the Plugins menu item, and select Add New from the fly-out menu. The WordPress plugin directory will appear.
  2. Find the plugin you want
    Use the filter tabs in the toolbar, or search for plugins by typing in a keyword, author, or tag in the search box.
  3. Check the quality of the plugin
    Each plugin is featured in a box with basic information. A good quality plugin will have good reviews, a high number of active installations, frequent updates, and it will be compatible with your version of WordPress.
  4. Install the plugin
    Click the Install Now button in the plugin box. Once the installation is complete, the Activate button will replace the Install button. In addition, the plugin will appear on the Installed Plugins screen.
  5. Activate the plugin
    Clicking Activate is crucial for the plugin to work. You can activate the plugin in the plugin box by clicking the Activate button when the installation is complete. Alternatively, you can click the Activate link in the Plugins overview screen.

B. Upload a plugin

The WordPress plugin directory has a lot of plugins, but it does not have all of them. You can also find some cool plugins on third-party sites like, for example, Yoast SEO Premium. But no worries, you can still easily add these plugins to WordPress. To upload a plugin to WordPress, follow these steps:

  1. Download the plugin from the third-party site
    Note that you will need to download the plugin in a .zip format. Otherwise, the upload may fail. If the plugin is not available for download in that format, contact the plugin provider.
  2. Access the WordPress plugin directory
    In your backend, go to the admin menu. Hover over the Plugins menu item, and select. Add New from the fly-out menu. The WordPress plugin directory will appear.
  3. Upload the plugin
    In the WordPress plugin directory, click the Upload Plugin button at the top of the screen. A new option will appear to add a file. Click the Choose file button, which will trigger a dialogue box to open. Find and select the file from your computer and click Open.
  4. Install the plugin
    Click the Install Now button, and the plugin will be installed.
  5. Activate the plugin
    Remember, you always need to activate a plugin after installing it. Go to your plugins overview, locate the plugin, and click the Activate link.

6. How to change the site title in WordPress

Setting your site title is an important step when creating your website. Your site title is the name that will show up at the top of the browser window, in bookmarks, and when people share your site on social media or via messaging apps.

To set your site title, select Appearance > Customize from your admin dashboard menu. 

This will open the Customizer, which offers a lot of options to customize your site — as you may have guessed from the name. The option we need is right at the top, under Site identity > Site title. 

Enter the name you have chosen for your website, and if possible, try to keep it short. You’ll want to have plenty of space left in the search results to also display the title of your post or page. You can learn about why titles are important here.

And, while you’re there, make sure that you change your site’s favicon, which is called a site icon in WordPress. Find out how to do this in our step-by-step guide on changing your favicon.

7. How to add a page to WordPress

Pages form the backbone of your site structure. Naturally, it is quite important to know how to add a page in WordPress. Luckily, it’s quite easy. Just follow our instructions, and you’ll be adding pages to your WordPress site in no time.

To add a page, do this or check out the free WordPress for beginners training:

  1. Access the Page editing screen
    To access the page editing screen, hover over the Pages menu item in the Admin menu and choose the Add New tab from the flyout menu.
  2. Add a title
    In the editing screen, you will see a block with the text Add title. Add the title of your page there. Click enter to create a new block.
  3. Add content
    Add the content of your page by choosing the appropriate block. If you want to add text, choose the Paragraph block. To add a subheading, choose the Heading block. Choose an appropriate new block for each new type of content you want to add. For example, add an Image block for an image, or a Video block to add a video to your page.
  4. Preview the page
    When you’re done adding content to the page in the editor, we’d advise previewing what the page will look like on your site. To do that, click the Preview button in the top right corner of the screen.
  5. Publish the page
    When you’re satisfied with the preview, all you need to do is click on the Publish button. Your page will be published.

Curious for more? Check out this lesson on creating pages in WordPress of the free WordPress for beginners course.

8. How to delete a page in WordPress

You might think deleting a page from your site is as easy as just hitting that delete button. But with deleting a page, you’ll also delete one or more URLs. This usually results in a ‘404 not found’ error… Which isn’t great, neither for visitors, nor Google. 

So, think before you delete a page. You have two valid options after deleting a page: redirecting it to another page or showing search engine spiders a 410 header, which indicates the page is deleted intentionally. Redirecting a deleted page is the best choice when you have other content on your site that is similar to the deleted content. The goal still is to provide the user with the information he or she was looking for. If there’s no other page that answers the user’s question, you need to decide if you want to improve the existing page or show a 410 header instead. You can set such a header in code, but it’s much easier to do with one of the many redirect plugins for WordPress.

Redirect a page
There are different kinds of redirects, but a 301 redirect is what you should use when you redirect the deleted page to another one. This redirect, called a permanent redirect, makes sure the link value of the old page will be assigned to the new URL. You can redirect posts or pages easily with the Yoast SEO redirect manager, as it will ask you what to do with a URL when you delete a page. Just enter the replacing URL and you’re done!

Show a 410 Content deleted header
Is there no other page on your site that will give the reader the information he or she is looking for? Then it’s better to delete or improve that page. In case of deleting, you’ll need to send a ‘410 content deleted’ header. By using this HTTP status code, you’ll let Google know that you removed the URL on purpose and that Google can remove the URL from its index faster. In the  Yoast SEO redirect manager, you can also choose the option to show a ‘410 content deleted’ page after you’ve deleted a page.

9. How to change the font size in WordPress

What if the WordPress theme you’ve chosen is perfect — except for one little thing? The font size is just a little bit off. Do you need to find yourself a completely new theme because of this? Of course not! Changing the font size in your WordPress theme is relatively easy, but it does involve a little bit of CSS coding. We’ll help you! These are the steps you need to take to change the font size in WordPress:

  1. First, you’ll have to identify what the current font size is. You can do this by opening the Inspector of your browser. When you right-click on the text you’d like to see in a different font size, you’ll be greeted with a menu that will have a direct link to your browser inspector tool. They look different from browser to browser, but they all work in a similar fashion. In Chrome, the menu item is called Inspect and in Firefox Inspect Element. Go ahead and click on that.
  2. Next up is finding the relevant CSS code that dictates the current font size. You’ll be looking for a section inside the Inspector you’ve just activated on the right-hand side of the screen called Styles. 
  3. Below that, you’ll see lines of code that match the element you’ve clicked on. You’ll see a line that has something like font-size: 14px or font-size: 1rem. 
  4. You can manually change the value of that line of code to, for instance, font-size: 16px. You’ll immediately see that change reflected in the open screen of your website. This is how you can check which value works best for you. 
  5. Once you’ve made up your mind on what you’d like to change it to, it’s time to write that down. You’ll also have to save the CSS element in which you changed the value. Most of the time this will be either a p or an h2 or h2 if you’ve selected a title.
  6. You’ll need to entire CSS code snippet for our next step, but it will look like something like this: p {font-size: 16px;}
  7. The next step is to navigate to your WordPress dashboard and find the Customize menu option inside the Appearance menu. 
  8. Click that and you’ll see a preview of your site on the right-hand side of your screen and a menu on the left-hand side. Inside this menu, you’ll find the Additional CSS menu. 
  9. Click on that menu option and you’ll see an input field. Here, you can paste the CSS snippet you saved earlier. As soon as you’ve pasted it, you’ll see the effects reflected on the right-hand side of your screen. 
  10. If it has the desired effect, go ahead and save your settings by clicking the Publish button inside the Customizer section. Afterwards, you click on the plus ( + ) sign in the top left-hand side of the Customizer to close the customizer screen. That’s it — you’ve now successfully changed the font size of your WordPress site.

Many themes have a so-called footer. The footer at the bottom of your pages is a good location to add some links to the less prominent content on your site, such as your address and contact information, terms of service and privacy policy. Not every theme has one, and the ones that do, often have different ways of activating and filling the footer. The Genesis theme, for instance, uses the Customizer settings to get this done, while other themes have a different setting for it. So, you best look around in the settings to find it. Here’s one of the most used ways of adding a footer to your theme.

  • Go to Appearance > Widgets from your admin dashboard.
  • On the left of this page are widgets that you can add to various places in your site’s theme. Those locations are listed on the right.
  • Find the widget that you want to add, and drag it to the location called “Footer”.
  • That’s it!

11. How to embed Youtube videos in WordPress

To really engage your audience, making your content visually appealing is key. One of the easiest ways to do this is by adding some images, or even a video. Embedding video hasn’t always been easy, but thanks to the block editor in WordPress 5.0, it is now! When you are editing a post or a page on your site, here’s how to do it:

  • Go to Youtube and find the video you want to add to your content.
  • Click the Share icon and copy the URL it displays.
  • Open the post or page on your site you want to add the video to.
  • Press the + icon where you want the video to appear to add a new block.
  • Paste the URL of the Youtube video, and it should automatically convert to an embedded video!
  • If you want, you can change the styling of the video to make it stand out.

12. How to do SEO on WordPress

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your site and content to reach a high position in the search results of Google or other search engines. WordPress itself is already pretty SEO-friendly, but it still pays off to do WordPress SEO. Let’s look at a few important SEO aspects.

Technical SEO

An important first step to take when optimizing your WordPress site, is to make sure everything ‘under the hood’ of your website is in good shape. Technical SEO encompasses many things, such as:

Content SEO

Besides working on your site’s technical side, you should also optimize your content. There are three pillars of content SEO:

Holistic SEO

At Yoast, we believe in holistic SEO: ranking by being the best result. That’s why, in our opinion, flawless user experience (UX) should be part of your SEO strategy. We also believe that websites should be usable for everyone, which is why accessibility matters.

There are also outside factors that affect your (WordPress) SEO, such as link building, social media, and local SEO. We call this off-page SEO. While it can take some effort, working on this aspect of SEO for your WordPress site is also part of a holistic SEO strategy. 

Yoast SEO

As you can see, there are several sides of SEO, and it’s a lot of work to keep everything on track. Luckily, the Yoast plugin will help you work on many aspects, from site structure to content optimization to technical settings. That’s why every website needs Yoast SEO!

Keep reading: WordPress SEO: the definitive guide »

The post How to use WordPress: Answering 12 common WordPress questions appeared first on Yoast.

New & free online training: WordPress for beginners

Whoa, big news! As of today, a new online Yoast Academy course is available to you: the WordPress for beginners training. And best of all: it’s completely free! Do you have great ideas or products to share with the world? But you’re afraid you’re not technical enough to build a website? Or you don’t know where to start? Or worse, been struggling for a while? That’s all in the past now! Our new WordPress for beginners training takes you by the hand and guides you through every step of creating a WordPress-based website. Simply click the button below, sign up and start your journey! Want to learn more about the course first? Just continue reading!

What will you learn in the WordPress for beginners training?

In this course, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about setting up a website with WordPress, step-by-step. You’ll learn:

  • what WordPress is and what it can do for you;
  • how to get your own WordPress site up and running;
  • how to customize your site with plugins, themes, and widgets;
  • the ins and outs about all the settings in WordPress, so you can really build a website that helps you achieve your goals;
  • how to liven up your site with amazing content, like posts, pages, images, videos, and embeds;
  • how to make sure people can find what they need on your site, by organizing your content with categories and tags;
  • how to manage your WordPress site once it’s up and running, with user roles, updates, and backups;
  • how to make sure your site is secure and protected against hackers;
  • everything about WordPress SEO, so people can actually find your site in the search engines;
  • all about the story behind WordPress, like its history and its open source community!

How is the course set up?

The WordPress for beginners training consists of seven modules, divided into several lessons. Each lesson contains interesting videos, in which our WordPress experts – like Joost de Valk, Jono Alderson, and Remkus de Vries  – explain everything you should know. Most lessons also contain screencasts, so you can see exactly what you need to do. We’ve also created reading materials, in which we explore topics more broadly. To complete a lesson, you take a quiz. These quizzes test whether you understand the theory and if you’re able to apply this knowledge to realistic example cases. Once you’ve finished the course, you’ll get a Yoast certificate and a badge you can display on your website.

Example of a video lesson by Joost de Valk in the WordPress for beginners training

Learn whenever you want, wherever you want

Like every other Yoast Academy training course, the WordPress for beginners training is online and on-demand. On top of that, it’s completely free of charge. This means you can do this course whenever you want, wherever you want. It’s all up to you!

Are you ready to create your own WordPress website?

With the WordPress for beginners training, you’ll have all the tools and knowledge you need to craft your own WordPress site. A blog, an online shop, a business website? Everything’s possible. Simply start the course by clicking the button below!

More exciting news…

We’ve got even more exciting news for you: as of today, our Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin training is also free of charge! Our mission is SEO for everyone, so we want to share as much knowledge as we can. Since our platform has grown over the years, we’re now seeing the opportunity to make this course accessible for everyone as well! So go ahead, and start learning about all the features our Yoast SEO plugin offers!

The post New & free online training: WordPress for beginners appeared first on Yoast.

Three new features in Gutenberg 6.5 and more on WordPress 5.3

The work on the next versions of WordPress and Gutenberg is moving along nicely, which is why today’s WordPress Watch focuses on those two projects. But, there’s more going on in the world of WordPress besides those two projects. So, get ready for a few bonus links again! Hope you enjoy.

New features in Gutenberg 6.5

Improvements on the Block Editor continue ever so diligently. Gutenberg 6.5 was released and the release contained a lot of small improvements, including three new features.

Social Links Block

The first new feature comes in the shape of an entirely new block called the Social Links Block. The team published a GIF that demonstrates quite nicely what you can do with it:

Social Links Block, courtesy Make WordPress Core blog

Local auto-save support

The second feature contains an improvement that adds support for local auto-saves to avoid content loss even in environments with unstable internet connections. To solve this problem, the Gutenberg team have made it so that edits are saved locally, and a warning is displayed with the possibility to restore the local edits if available.

Experimental: non-local block installation

The last new feature is the most exciting one, in my opinion. This release includes a feature that is marked experimental. It adds the possibility to install blocks that are not available locally directly from the block inserter if you have the required permissions. Inside the editor, you can find a one-click search and installation of blocks from the block directory. Selected blocks are automatically installed as a plugin in the background and inserted into the editor with one click. How cool is that?!

You can read the rest of what’s included in the release post for Gutenberg 6.5.

WordPress 5.3

The work on WordPress 5.3 is moving along nicely as well. This includes the new default Twenty Twenty theme as well. Justin Ahinon published a great dev chat summary of where we are for WordPress 5.3 on the Make WordPress Core Dev Notes post. It’s an interesting read as it gives you a very good overview of the less obvious things going into WordPress 5.3.

Bonus links

  • Came across a site with an interesting overview of ACF resources. Go check it out if ACF is in your toolbox.
  • And, if Beaver Builder is in your toolbox, Mike Oliver created 20 free Beaver Builder row templates that can all be imported as a one-page template.
  • If you were curious to know which multilingual plugin is the fastest, WP Rocket has tested quite a few of them.

The post Three new features in Gutenberg 6.5 and more on WordPress 5.3 appeared first on Yoast.

Get ready for our free WordPress for beginners course!

Yoast Academy is branching out! You’re probably familiar with our collection of SEO courses. But without a functional website, good luck trying to get it ranked! The better you set up your site, the easier it is to make sure it gets found and enjoyed by your audience. That’s why we’ve decided to help you take your first steps towards a great WordPress website. Or fix some of the mistakes you’ve made in the past, of course. Next week, we’re releasing a new and free Yoast Academy course: WordPress for beginners!

Sounds interesting, what can I expect?

Whether you’re new to WordPress or looking to improve your setup, the course shows what a well-maintained WordPress site looks like. From what WordPress is and does, to managing your site with user roles and security: we cover it all. And everything in-between, like:

  • getting your site up and running;
  • using plugins, themes, and widgets to get your site exactly how you want it;
  • getting your settings right for your specific purpose;
  • writing captivating content and building a site structure that helps visitors find what they’re looking for;
  • updating and backing up your site, so you don’t run into trouble when something goes wrong;
  • of course: getting found in the search engines;
  • and as a bonus, you can also learn all about the history of WordPress and the open source WordPress community!

It’s all there for you to enjoy and learn from!

Aren’t there a million free WordPress tutorials out there already?

Yup, there are. But this one’s different, we promise. It’s not just a collection of videos, it’s an actual training course. All the information is broken up into carefully crafted and bite-size videos and screencasts, for an over-the-shoulder look into the details. Then, there are additional reading materials to help you really get to grips with the information. Of course, you can easily download and consult those when you’re working on your site yourself. And if that wasn’t enough, we have quizzes and exercises to really help you get the information permanently stored in your brain.

In this course, we don’t just throw information at you, then tell you “GOOD LUCK” and run away. We help you really understand and store everything there is to know long-term. Moreover, we have a treasure trove of experts who have been directly involved with WordPress for years, like Joost de Valk, Remkus de Vries, and Jono Alderson. They themselves have shaped what WordPress looks like and how it works. Sounds like people you could learn from, right?

Example of a video lesson by Joost de Valk in the WordPress for beginners course

Learn whenever you want, wherever you want

Like every other Yoast Academy training course, the WordPress for beginners training is online and on-demand. On top of that, it’s completely free of charge. This means you can do this course whenever you want, wherever you want. It’s all up to you!

How do I get this course?

Sounds great, doesn’t it? With this WordPress for beginners course, you’ll be able to create and maintain a WordPress site that does exactly what you and your visitors expect it to do. So, how does signing up for the course work? Next week, we’ll release the course. Of course, we’ll link to it in our newsletters and the release post. If you have a MyYoast account, the course will automatically show up in your Academy courses overview.

Read more: Create a MyYoast account now! »

The post Get ready for our free WordPress for beginners course! appeared first on Yoast.

Gutenberg block editor improvements, and integrating plugins

Today’s WordPress Watch has a strong focus on the Gutenberg block editor. Two different tweets prompted me to focus on what you can do with the editor a bit more. We’ll discuss improvements to the editor, as well as useful plugins that integrate with the block editor, so I hope you enjoy this edition. Don’t forget to check out the bonus links!

Block editor keeps on getting better

This December is the one year anniversary of the merge of the Gutenberg project in WordPress core. If you’re still postponing moving to the block editor, it’s good to know that it keeps getting better. Not just better at certain things it does – like speed and settings – but also when it comes to options and possibilities.

Gutenberg plugin improvements

The improvements to the block editor can be noted in the stand-alone Gutenberg plugin. For those of you who are unaware, the Gutenberg plugin sees continuous improvement, with new releases every other week. You can read up on the kinds of improvements that have been made here.

So, if you want to try the latest and greatest version of the block editor, you can install the Gutenberg plugin in your WordPress site. If you’ve tried it before and it didn’t take, I can guarantee you, you’ll now see a much-improved version of the block editor with the latest version of Gutenberg.

Plugins integrating with the block editor

Over the last couple of months, we’ve seen a lot of powerful improvements committed to the Gutenberg plugin, but, we’ve also seen a lot of plugins integrating with the block editor in extremely interesting ways. I’ve already mentioned several of these plugins in some of my previous WordPress Watch posts. Today, I’d like to highlight two specific plugins that have become part of my favorite block editor enhancements. Namely: Editorskit and Atomic Blocks.

Atomic Blocks

Atomic Blocks is one of those plugins that gradually keeps getting better at what it does. This tweet, for example, demonstrates quite nicely what kind of improvements you can find:

Just have a look at what kind of blocks it makes available in the block editor and what you can do with it.

Editorskit

Editorskit, just like Atomic Blocks, adds an array of interesting blocks to the editor, but it has a slightly different focus. Find out what they are and what they do here. Technically, you could use both plugins side by side. Editorskit also shared an interesting tweet last week demonstrating their progress:

If you’re still putting off switching to the block editor and you haven’t played around with it lately, now’s a good time to try again.

Bonus links

The post Gutenberg block editor improvements, and integrating plugins appeared first on Yoast.

How to change your favicon in WordPress: a step-by-step guide

Have you seen that icon in the search results in front of your website’s URL? It’s visible for most people in mobile results now. So, no excuses, your site needs a good favicon. Luckily, setting a favicon in WordPress is very easy. Here we’ll explain how to change the favicon of your WordPress site!

Yoast’s favicon shows when you search for our brand on mobile.

We’ve been writing about favicons for years. This article about favicons and branding will tell you what you need to think about in that regard. Read it, and make sure your favicon is good and stands out.

Spoiler alert! Next week, when Yoast SEO 12.1 is out, you’ll be able to see your favicon in Yoast SEO’s mobile snippet preview too, so stay tuned for our next release!

Now let’s give you a simple step-by-step guide on how to change your favicon in WordPress:

Time needed: 5 minutes.

The favicon is called a site icon in WordPress and can be added in the customize theme section.

  1. Log in to your WordPress website.

    When you’re logged in, you’ll be in your ‘Dashboard’:WordPress Dashboard

  2. Click on ‘Appearance’.

    On the left-hand side, you’ll see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘Appearance’.appearance in wordpress

  3. Click on ‘Customize’.

    The ‘Appearance’ settings will expand providing you additional options. Click on ‘Customize’.customize in WordPress

  4. Click on ‘Site Identity’.

    Here you can define your site name, tagline, logo, and icon. The image you set under “Site Icon” will be used as your site’s favicon:

That was easy, wasn’t it? So, no more excuses, get to it. Change that favicon on your WordPress site!

Read more: Favicons and your online brand »

The post How to change your favicon in WordPress: a step-by-step guide appeared first on Yoast.