The year 2018 is about to come to an end. It was a great year overall for WPBeginner, WordPress community, and for many of our users who started new websites and businesses. We want to thank all of you for your continued support of WPBeginner.
To continue our tradition, in this article, we will share our staff-pick of the best of best WordPress tutorials on WPBeginner. We will also share an overview of the success that our team had in 2018.
WPBeginner Recap 2018 by Syed Balkhi
Like every year, 2018 has been the best year ever for me both personally and professionally.
WPBeginner YouTube channel passed over 100,000 subscribers (currently at 122k subscribers). This was one of my goals for 2018, and I’m very glad that we met it.
We switched WPBeginner to HTTPS and added Browser Push Notification. In the last 6 months, we have added over 260,000+ users in our push list. This has been a great new traffic source for the blog.
In August, I launched the WPBeginner growth accelerator fund, which is the first-ever growth fund focused entirely on WordPress businesses.
Over 90 companies applied to receive investment and mentoring (which is quite humbling).
If you’re interested in learning more, then check out this blog post where I shared some behind the scenes details.
2018 was a great year for WPBeginner’s family of products.
WPForms passed over 1 million active installs and it’s now one of the top 25 most popular WordPress plugins of all time. Considering that we only launched it in 2016, it’s amazing to see how far we have come.
We added a lot of powerful features in WPForms including: surveys & polls, form permissions (form locker), conditional form confirmations, Stripe recurring payments, Drip addon, rating fields, likert scale, NPS fields, image choice fields, custom input masks, better terms of service field, GDPR compatibility, Gutenberg compatibility, and so much more.
WPForms is the most beginner friendly WordPress form plugin, and that’s why it has continued to maintain a 4.9 out of 5 star rating average with over 3000+ five star ratings (read WPForms user reviews).
Not using WPForms yet? You can try the free version and then upgrade to Pro when you’re ready.
MonsterInsights, the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, passed over 2 million active installs.
We launched a brand new Overview report inside WordPress dashboard. We also created customized reports for Publishers and Ecommerce websites, so you can see the stats that really matter. We added several other reports as well including: Search Console report, Form Conversion report, and Custom Dimensions report.
MonsterInsights has become one of my most favorite plugins in 2018 because it helps me grow our business with confidence. I sincerely believe that it’s easy to double your traffic and sales when you know exactly how people find and use your website. MonsterInsights helps me make data-driven decisions to grow our business.
OptinMonster, our flagship conversion optimization software, continued to push the limits in 2018. We launched version 5.0 which added a brand new drag & drop campaign builder and a revamped display rules engine, so you can create more personalized campaigns.
Aside from the big release, we also released several new campaign templates, email conversion summaries, a new beta program, and my favorite Smart Tags feature.
Smart Tags basically makes dynamic personalization easy. Previously OptinMonster offered this feature as part of our API, but it required coding.
Now you can add personalization like user’s name, location (country, city, state, etc), time, and other items inside your OptinMonster campaign to boost conversions without writing any code.
Our free plugin WP Mail SMTP also passed the 1 million active installs mark.
In October 2018, I sold my popular List25 blog, so I can better focus on our WordPress and software business.
List25 was a side project that I started in college as an experiment. In 2018, we passed 2.4 million subscribers on YouTube and had 570 million total video views.
This blog never fit into what we did at Awesome Motive, but I kept it for as long as I did for sentimental values. Not to mention, it did generate a pretty good side income.
As for personal life, 2018 was a great year for my family. My son, Solomon, turned 2 years old. It’s been quite fun to watch him grow. We traveled to 6 countries this year. Solomon attended 1 WordCamp in 2018 (WordCamp Miami). His two favorite letters in the alphabet are W and P. Surprisingly it took me a while to catch that, and of course that makes sense considering most of the shirts I wear are WordPress branded. Below is a picture of our family, since I know many of you often ask for it.
If you want to see more of my personal journey, then please check out my 2018 Year in Review blog post on my personal blog. It has everything that happened to me in 2018 both personally & professionally along with lessons that I learned, and my goals for 2019.
With that said, let’s take a look at the best of WPBeginner in 2018.
Best WPBeginner Tutorials in 2018
We published some really useful guides, tutorials, and how-tos throughout 2018. Here are some of our favorites.
What’s the difference between domain name and web hosting – We started the year with a beginner’s guide explaining the difference between domain name and web hosting. Many beginners often confuse the two terms, so we thought it is about time we explain the difference to help users understand the web basics.
How to send email in WordPress using the Gmail SMTP Server – Often WordPress websites fail to send emails because of poor configuration of email functions on their WordPress hosting servers. In this article, we showed an easier solution to the problem by sending WordPress emails using Gmail SMTP server.
Shopify vs WooCommerce – Which is the better platform? – Many beginners who want to start an online store often struggle in choosing between two of the most popular eCommerce platforms, Shopify and WooCommerce. In this article, we compared both platforms side-by-side for their features, ease-of-use, pricing, and flexibility to help you choose the best eCommerce platform for your online store.
16 Best Alternatives to the WordPress Jetpack Plugin – As your website grows, you will likely need to expand beyond the basic functionality of the Jetpack plugin suite. That’s why we created a list of the best Jetpack alternatives for specific features.
How to create an online course with WordPress using LearnDash – Selling online courses is becoming a common way for bloggers to make money online. In this guide, we explained how to easily create an online course using LearnDash with step by step instructions.
How to create a survey in WordPress – Surveys are a great way to gather valuable information from your users and use it to grow your business. In this step by step guide, we showed you how to create a survey in WordPress with beautiful interactive reports.
How to create a micro-job website like Fiverr with WordPress – Fiverr is a popular marketplace. This tutorial allows you to create a micro-job website like Fiverr and allow users to offer their services on your website, so you can earn a commission when jobs are completed.
How to fix the Mixed Content Error in WordPress – Mixed content error in WordPress is caused by incorrect HTTPs/SSL settings. While it may not affect your website’s functionality, it can have adverse affects on your website’s SEO and user experience. This guide helps you fix that.
How to add a stats dashboard on your WordPress site – Step by step guide on how to see your website stats inside your WordPress dashboard.
How to create an online marketplace using WordPress – A marketplace website allows your users to buy and sell items by setting up their own mini-stores within your eCommerce website for a fee. It is one of the fastest growing eCommerce categories with many opportunities for small niche marketplaces. In this guide, we showed you how to create your own online marketplace using WordPress with step by step instructions.
How to build an auction site like eBay using WordPress – An auction website allows users to bid on products to purchase them. This helps you to maximize profits and you can even allow other users to run their own auctions on your website for a fee. In this article, we showed you how to easily create an eBay like auction site using WordPress without any special technical skills.
How to sell ads on your WordPress blog – Online ads are one of the most popular ways to make money from your website. In this step by step beginner’s guide, we showed you how to properly sell ads on your WordPress blog and how to maximize your ad earnings.
Best online grammar checker tools for WordPress – Modern browsers come with built-in spellcheck but there is no way to check for grammar or readability. We hand-picked the best online grammar checker tools to help you write better blog posts for your website.
11 most important pages that every WordPress blog should have – Ever wondered what are the most important pages that you must have? As you go into 2019, make sure you have these important pages on your blog.
The ultimate affiliate marketing guide for beginners – Affiliate marketing is one of the most successful ways to monetize WordPress websites. In this beginner’s guide, we explained affiliate marketing, how it works, and showed step by step instructions to get started with affiliate marketing.
How to enable customer tracking in WooCommerce with Google Analytics – Customer tracking helps you understand user behavior and improve shopping experience on your website for maximum conversions. In this guide, we showed how you can enable WooCommerce tracking with Google Analytics and unlock this invaluable information.
Best WordPress job board plugins and themes – We hand-picked some of the best plugins and themes that you can use to add a job board to your WordPress website.
Revealed: Which are the most popular types of blogs? – This is one of the most commonly asked questions we get from new users who’re looking to start a blog. This article should help you find the best niche for your website.
The ultimate guide to WordPress and GDPR Compliance – The EU’s GDPR law made most website owners concerned about how it would affect them. In this guide, we explained everything you need to know about GDPR compliance in plain English.
How to easily accept credit card payments in WordPress – Many beginners want to accept credit card payments on their website without adding a shopping cart. In this article, we showed you how to easily accept credit card payments in WordPress without using a full-fledged eCommerce platform.
Best content marketing tools and plugins for WordPress – Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to get search traffic to your website. We shared our pick of the best content marketing tools and plugins for WordPress to create a killer content strategy for your website.
Ultimate list of WordPress stats, facts, and other research – Need to convince your boss or someone else in your organization to use WordPress? Here some stats, facts, and research that will help.
How to register a Domain Name (+ tip to get it for free) – Beginner’s guide on what is a domain name, how to register one, and a bonus tip on how to get it for free.
How to do keyword research for your WordPress blog – In this article, we explained what is keyword research and how you can use it to find blog post ideas, improve SEO rankings, and get more traffic for your WordPress blog.
Wix vs WordPress – Which one is better? – Wix is a popular website builder that helps you create websites without any programming skills. In this article, we compared Wix vs WordPress with pros and cons of both platforms to determine which one is better.
How to create a free business email address – A business email address uses your company name and looks a lot more professional than a generic Gmail or Hotmail account. In this step by step guide, we showed you how to easily create a free business email address in 5 minutes.
Best analytics solutions for WordPress users – Website analytics help you find out where your users are coming from and what they do on your site. In this showcase, we shared our pick of the best analytics solutions that you can use on your WordPress website.
How to allow users to upload images in WordPress comments – By default WordPress doesn’t let users upload images in comments. If you want to allow your readers to upload images in comments similar to Facebook comments, then here’s a step by step tutorial to do that.
18 most important things you need to do after installing WordPress – Starting a new WordPress site? Here’s a checklist that we recommend you follow after you have installed WordPress.
How to properly move WordPress from HTTP to HTTPS – In July, Google announced that Chrome browser will mark all websites without an SSL certificate as insecure. This beginner’s guide shows you how to properly switch WordPress from HTTP to HTTPS.
How to choose the best domain registrar – Domain registrars are the companies responsible for registering and managing all domain names in the world. Choosing the right domain registrar will help you avoid additional costs and have full control of your domain. In this guide, we shared the best domain registrars that you can choose from.
Proven and easy to start online business ideas – If you are looking for a business idea that you can start online and start making money, then this guide is for you. We shared easy to start online business ideas that actually make money and do not cost much to start.
How to import external images in WordPress – Extremely useful guide for those who’re switching domain names or moving websites from another platform to WordPress.
How to create an IDX real estate website using WordPress – Many of our users wanted to build a functional real estate website using WordPress. In this tutorial, we showed how to easily build an IDX real estate website using WordPress without spending a fortune.
How to protect your WordPress site from brute force attacks – Brute force attacks can slow down a website, make it inaccessible, and even crack passwords to install malware. In this article, we showed you how to effectively protect your WordPress install against brute force attacks.
How to fix common SSL issues in WordPress – Some of our users wanted to know how to fix issues when moving their website from HTTP to HTTPs. In this beginner’s guide, we shared how to fix common SSL issues in WordPress.
Best WordPress caching plugin to speed up your website – One of the fastest ways to speed up your WordPress site is to install a caching plugin. This article highlights the best WordPress caching plugins.
How to create an Etsy-Like store with WordPress – Tired of paying Etsy’s high transaction fees? Here’s a step by step guide on how to create an Etsy-Like store in WordPress, and how to properly move an existing Etsy store to WordPress.
How to switch from Blogger to WordPress without losing Google rankings – We did a massive rewrite of one of our most popular articles on the website. Want to switch from Blogger to WordPress? We’ve got you covered.
How to take a screenshot for your blog posts (Ultimate Guide) – This step by step guide covers 6 different methods to taking screenshots for your blog posts. Bonus Power Tip that helps you quickly create screencasts and animated GIFs.
Top reasons why WordPress sites get hacked – One of the most common myths about WordPress is that it is less secure. WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world, and that’s why it is often the biggest target of any hacking attempts. In this guide, we shared the top reasons why WordPress sites get hacked and how you can easily prevent it from happening on your site.
How to properly move from Squarespace to WordPress – Many people who start their websites using Squarespace quickly realize the limitations of that platform and want to move. In this article, we shared how to move your website from Squarespace to WordPress.
How to disable Gutenberg and keep the WordPress Classic Editor – A lot of users are not happy with WordPress 5.0 block editor (Gutenberg). This article shows you how to disable Gutenberg and keep the classic editor.
40 most common WordPress errors and how to fix them – This ultimate guide is worth bookmarking because it has solutions for fixing 40 of the most common WordPress errors.
How to style the WordPress comment form – This guide is theme designer’s dream come true. It covers all the things you need to customize your WordPress comment form.
Ways to recover WooCommerce abandoned cart sales – More than 67% of users on an eCommerce stores abandon their carts without checking out. In this guide, we showed you how to recover those WooCommerce abandoned cart sales and grow your business more efficiently.
How to move your site from Joomla to WordPress – Joomla is a popular CMS software, much like WordPress but with a much smaller user base. In this step by step tutorial, we showed how to easily move your site from Joomla to WordPress.
How to check keyword rankings for your WordPress blog posts – You work hard on improving WordPress SEO and creating great content but how do you know if your site is doing well? In this beginner’s guide, we showed you how to check if your blog posts are ranking for the right keywords.
How to show your business review from Google, Facebook, and Yelp in WordPress – Want to add social proof to your business website? This plugin easily lets you display positive reviews about your business from social media right on your WordPress site.
Ultimate WooCommerce SEO Guide – Search is the most important source of traffic for most online stores. In this beginner’s guide, we showed you how to improve WooCommerce SEO with step by step instructions to rank higher in Google.
10 website marketing data you must track on your site – Instead of relying on your best guesses to make important marketing decisions, we showed you which website marketing data you must track on every WordPress site from day 1.
How to use user-generated content in WordPress – Use generated content allows you to add content created and generated by user activity on your website. In this tutorial, we showed you how to properly utilize user-generated content in WordPress to grow your business.
15 tips to grow your business online with a small budget – Most businesses who are just starting out don’t have big marketing budgets. In this guide, we shared our expert tips on growing your business online without spending a lot of money.
How to clone a WordPress (in 7 easy steps) – Moving a WordPress site to a new web host? Switching to a new domain? Or just want to create a staging site? Here’s a step by step guide on how to easily clone your WordPress site.
Using Google Search Console to grow website traffic – Google Search console is an incredibly powerful tool that offers tons of useful information that you can use to grow your website and get more traffic. In this beginner’s guide, we showed you how to properly use Google Search Console to grow your website traffic.
Best free website hosting compared – Many beginners who just want a quick website often want to start with a free website hosting company. In this article, we shared our pick of the best almost free and free website hosting companies and how they stack up against each other.
How to properly move from Medium to WordPress – Medium is a free writing platform but it is not exactly a flexible website builder like WordPress. In this step by step tutorial, we showed you how to easily move from Medium to WordPress.
How to use the new WordPress block editor (Gutenberg tutorial) – In WordPress 5.0, the classic content editor was replaced by a brand new block editor called Gutenberg. To answer user questions, we published the comprehensive Gutenberg block editor tutorial that walks you through the new editor and how to use it like a pro.
Best live chat software for small business – Our expert comparison of the best live chat software for small businesses.
These were some of the best WordPress tutorials on WPBeginner in 2018. We hope that you found them helpful.
We want to thank all WPBeginner users, who visited our website, offered feedback, left comments, and shared it with others. We truly appreciate you.
We look forward to adding even more useful WordPress tutorials in 2019. Have a Happy New Year.