Multilingual WooCommerce and How to Sell Worldwide

Having a WooCommerce store that sells internationally is great. But having a multilingual WooCommerce store that sells internationally while also providing visitors with product descriptions they fully understand and are completely optimized for international SEO is even better!

And it’s not only to improve your customers’ experience — it’s also great for business too.

Studies show that nearly 80% of shoppers would much rather buy from online stores that provide content in their native language. Meanwhile 40% won’t even consider making a purchase if the language is foreign to them.

And if we think about it, it makes complete sense. People want to understand what they’re buying. They need to be certain of their acquisitions and when they don’t fully understand a language, they won’t trust the business enough to actually spend their hard-earned money on it.

So why risk losing potential clients simply because they don’t fully understand your product descriptions or store policies? What if your products are exactly what they’re looking for but they just don’t know it yet because they don’t speak your language?

The Benefits of Multilingual WooCommerce

Reach New Markets

When you turn your eCommerce store multilingual, you open your virtual doors to a whole new market that’s full of new ways to position your business internationally and compete with big names from your industry or niche.

Even if you’re doing great on the local market, extending to new, bigger markets is always a good idea. If you have the possibility to provide your services or products to buyers all over the world, why wouldn’t you?

After all, more people reached = more potential conversions.

Build Credibility and Earn Customer Trust

As I said before, most people have trouble trusting a website they don’t fully understand. That’s why by offering your site in your customers’ native language, you improve its credibility in their eyes.

When you eliminate the language barrier, visitors are less likely to feel uneased at purchase since misunderstandings are less likely to happen. This gives them a more comfortable user experience and more reasons to trust your brand.

Woman watering a plant growing a magnifying glass

Boost SEO and Grow Organic Traffic

With a single language site, you can optimize your web pages so that they rank well in Google using SEO best practices. Ideally, this would help your website get discovered by new users and get valuable organic traffic.

But this is not an easy job. The competition is quite high for English sites and, if your website is not very well established, it could get pretty hard to check those top positions in SERPs.

When you turn multilingual, the results you get from your SEO efforts can rise to a new level as well. With multilingual SEO, you can have each of the translated versions of your site’s pages rank separately for each language. Not only is the competition lower for non-English websites, but this way you can also target users searching Google in their own languages too.

People might be already searching for products similar to yours but in their own native language. All those people might translate to brand new organic traffic (or even conversions) on your site using multilingual SEO.

WooCommerce is Translation-Ready

And finally, because WooCommerce is inherently localization and translation-ready, the process of turning your shop multilingual will be extremely simple.

All you need is a good multilingual plugin and a few minutes to set it up and you’re good to go.

WooCommerce has already been translated into lots of different languages. This means that all of the content that comes with the plugin (such as “Add to cart” buttons) is probably already available in your desired language. You’ll just need to install your multilingual plugin of choice and download the specific WooCommerce language pack.

Moreover, WooCommerce also lets you easily configure different types of payment methods (like PayPal) and pick a default currency. You can even sell in multiple currencies, but you’ll need a multi-currency extension for that.

How to Turn WooCommerce Multilingual

So, now that you know why you should turn your eCommerce store multilingual, let’s talk about how you can do it.

To get started, you’ll first need a multilingual plugin. That’s the best way to work around translating your store since it’s pretty fast to do, it’s SEO-friendly, and it required zero technical skills.

In this tutorial, we’ll be using TranslatePress, an easy-to-use, and highly intuitive translation plugin. Using this plugin for website translation, you’ll be able to quickly and easily edit your translation with the help of a visual translation editor that works something like this:

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Step 1: Install and Set Up the TranslatePress Plugin

So, first, let’s get the TranslatePress plugin on your WooCommerce store.

If you’re on a budget and one additional language will suffice your online store, you can get away with the free version of the plugin, available for download at WordPress.org. If, however, you want multiple additional languages and other extra functionalities, you can always pick one of the premium TranslatePress licenses.

Once your chosen version of the plugin is uploaded and installed on your WooCommerce store, you can move on to setting it up. First, in your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings >> TranslatePress and, in the General tab, add your new languages. Search for your desired language in the “All languages” section and then click “Add”.

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Again, if you’re using the free version you’ll be able to add one secondary language, that’s two languages total for your online shop. For unlimited languages, choose one of the premium plans.

Next, scroll down to the “Language switcher” section and choose your preferred type of switcher and how you want it displayed.

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You can also choose a combination of any two or even all three switchers at the same time.

Step 2: Enable Automatic Translation (Optional)

Now if you’re in a bit of a hurry or simply do not have the time to manually translate all of your site’s content, you can always use TranslatePress’ automatic translation functionality.

This is a completely optional functionality, but it sure helps get things done, especially when you have a shop with lots of products listed. If, however, you’d prefer to stick with manual translations, feel free to skip to the next step.

So, to activate it, navigate to the Automatic Translation tab in the TranslatePress settings and choose “Yes” in the “Enable Automatic Translation” dropdown. This will open up the rest of the settings.

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Next, you’ll have to choose your preferred translation engine. Google Translate is available with the free version of TranslatePress, while DeepL comes with any premium license of the plugin. Regardless of which service you choose, in order for the automatic translation to work, you’ll need to retrieve an API key. So, here are step-by-step tutorials on how to do that for both Google Translate and DeepL.

Limit Machine Translation

While TranslatePress does not charge any money for automatic translation, your chosen translation engine might, depending on how much content there is to translate. So, if you’re on a strict budget, make sure to set a limit on the daily translated characters from the “Limit machine translation/characters per day” section.

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After you save your changes, navigate to a page you want to see translated, from the front end. Switch to the additional language (or one of them if you have multiple) from the language switcher and see the magic happen.

The page will be automatically translated and those translations will now be stored on your own server. This ensures that TranslatePress only retrieves the translations from the translation engine once and thus prevents load time increases. Once the page is translated, you have full control over those translations and are even able to manually modify them if needed.

Step 3: Translate Your WooCommerce Content

The next step is manual translation. Now, if you chose to go with automatic translations, this is where you’ll be able to go in manually and tweak any translations that don’t sound right to you. If not, you’ll be able to translate everything from scratch.

Whether you’ve enabled automatic translation in the previous step or not, this step will work in the same way. The only difference is that if you’ve used automatic translation, the translation fields will be pre-filled with the translations received from Google Translate or DeepL.

Translate WooCommerce Shop Page

So, first off, let’s tackle the WooCommerce shop page translation.

For all front-end translations, TranslatePress offers a convenient visual interface that lets you preview your website live while translating. This way, you never have to worry about how your shop would look like once translated, and you can also see each string in context.

Start off by navigating to your online store from the front end, while logged in to your WordPress dashboard. With the TranslatePress plugin installed, you’ll now be able to see a “Translate Page” button in the WordPress admin bar.

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Clicking that button will take you to the visual translation editor. Here you’ll see a preview of your site on the right side of the screen and a translation sidebar on the left.

If you want to see your edits live, right as you translate, you can choose to display the language you are currently editing in the live preview. This way, when you translate a piece of content, the preview will update instantly with your translation.

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To translate any piece of content on your shop page, all you have to do is hover your mouse over any string and click the pencil icon that shows up.

Now you’ll be able to input your translation in the sidebar to the left, under your secondary language field, like so:

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Don’t forget to hit “Save Translation” once your string is translated.

With this exact approach, you can easily translate any piece of content visible on your site, including menu items, page titles, product titles, and so on.

As you’ll probably notice if you’re using one of WooCommerce’s default languages, some of the strings will be translated right from the start. These are strings that come with the plugin and are automatically added to your site by WooCommerce itself once you add a secondary language. You’ll notice that the pencil icon is green in this case, as opposed to blue, as it is with the other user-generated strings.

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These strings can still be edited by clicking the green pencil icon that appears on hover, if you’re not happy with WooCommerce’s choice of words, 

If you can’t see these default WooCommerce string translations, just go to Dashboard >> Updates and scroll to the end of the page to update your translations.

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If there are still no translations to be updated, the language you’ve chosen might not be supported by WooCommerce. In this case, you’ll have to translate everything yourself, either automatically or manually.

You can check this official list to see if WooCommerce has already been translated to your specific language.

Translate WooCommerce Products

Now, when it comes to WooCommerce Products, the process is pretty much the same. Navigate to a product page you want to translate and click the “Translate Page” button.

Next, click the pencil icon on any visible string on the WooCommerce product page and input its translation in the sidebar.

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Again, you’ll probably see that some content is already translated, such as the “Add to cart” button, but you’ll still be able to edit those strings too.

Moving forward, you can translate the product description, product category, and any additional information the product page may contain, in the exact same way.

You can even “translate” your images if you want to display different media for each language. Simply hover over an image, click the pencil icon, and then input another image in the sidebar.

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Translate WooCommerce Cart & Checkout Page

In order to translate your WooCommerce cart page, you’ll need to go ahead and add an item to your cart from the front-end. Then, navigate to the cart page and open the translation editor.

Once you’re here, you’ll be able to translate everything using the exact same approach.

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When your cart is empty, your cart page will only display some default WooCommerce messages and buttons. These should be automatically translated if the specific WooCommerce language pack is installed.

If you want to edit those default strings, simply empty your cart right from the live preview, in the translation editor and edit them like usual.

To translate your WooCommerce checkout page, after adding at least one item to your cart, proceed to checkout. Once you’re on the checkout page, you can once again click the “Translate Page” button and start editing your translations.

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And finally, you can of course do the same for your WooCommerce account page and any other page of your eCommerce store.

Translate Important WooCommerce SEO Elements

For all of the functionalities I’ve presented above, the free version of TranslatePress works just fine. But for this last step, you’ll need the SEO Pack add-on, available only with a pro license of the plugin.

This add-on extends the functionality of TranslatePress to SEO elements (such as SEO titles and meta descriptions) and URL slugs.

To enable the add-on, go to Settings >> TranslatePress >> Addons tab and click the “Activate” button to the right of the SEO Pack add-on

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With the add-on active, you’ll now be able to access SEO metadata and URL slugs, right from the translation editor.

Simply open the strings dropdown and look for the “Meta Information” section. Now you’ll be able to select and translate the SEO page title, meta description, image alt tags, social share tags, and even URL slugs.

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Turn your WooCommerce Store Multilingual Today

Ready to go multilingual with your WooCommerce store? You sure should be after this easy tutorial!

Take your online shop to the next level and reach untapped markets today! All you need is an intuitive multilingual plugin, just like TranslatePress, and a few simple steps.

You can try TranslatePress for free by downloading it from the WordPress repository or, if you long for unlimited translation languages and extended functionality, you can pick your preferred premium plan.

Do you still have questions on how to create your own multilingual WooCommerce store? Let us know in the comments below.


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wpadmin May 25, 2022 0 Comments

The New Major Release Is Here

WordPress 6.0 “Arturo” has finally launched. This second major release of 2022 brings many improvements, including 400+ updates and 500+ bug fixes.

Many improvements refine the block site editor, a prominent feature introduced in WordPress 5.9. WordPress 6.0 builds on the block editor by adding the global styles switcher, block style retaining, and container block transformation.

Let’s look at the new features you’ll see in WordPress 6.0.

Block Editor Improvements

When it was introduced in WordPress 5.9, the block editor brought a new site customization experience. WordPress 6.0 delivers many upgrades to enhance its usability.

Global Styles Switcher

The block editor’s global styles switcher is one of the most anticipated features of WordPress 6.0. It lets theme builders use style variations and switch between them with a single click.

The default Twenty Twenty-Two theme now has four style variations. To access the switcher, open the global styles panel and click Browse styles.

Browse styles button to show the available theme variations.

You should see the available style variations. Click on any of them to switch styles easily.

Using the theme variation options to change the global styles.

Note that the Browse styles button will only appear when style variations are available in the theme folder.

To add a style variation to the Twenty Twenty Two theme, you need to add a new JSON file in the /wp-content/themes/twentytwentytwo directory.

For example, follow these steps to add a dark style variation to the Twenty Twenty-Two theme.

  1. Use the file manager or an FTP client and open /wp-content/themes/twentytwentytwo folder on your WordPress installation directory.
  2. Create a new file named Dark.json.
  3. Insert the code snippet from this GitHub gist to the Dark.json file.
  4. Save the file.

Go back to your WordPress dashboard and open the block editor. You should see the newly added dark theme variation in the global styles switcher.

The global style variation panel, showing the new Dark theme style in the options.

Webfonts API

The Webfonts API aims to streamline registering local web fonts to the global styles settings. It standardizes the process, ensuring consistency across sites and themes.

In WordPress 6.0, you can add new web fonts via the theme.json file and make them appear on the global styles typography panel.

In the following example, we’ll add the Montserrat font to the Twenty Twenty-Two theme. You can download the font from the Google Fonts directory.

  1. Use the file manager or an FTP client to upload the Montserrat font file to the /wp-content/themes/twentytwentytwo/assets/fonts/montserrat directory.
  2. Open the theme.json file in the theme’s directory and add the following code snippet into the typography section:
{
	"fontFamily": ""Montserrat", sans-serif",
	"name": "Montserrat",
	"slug": "Montserrat",
	"fontFace": [
		{
			"fontFamily": "Monserrat",
			"fontWeight": "200 900",
			"fontStyle": "normal",
			"fontStretch": "normal",
			"src": [ "file:./assets/fonts/montserrat/Montserrat.ttf" ]   
		}
	]
}
  1. Save and close the theme.json file.

Go to the block editor and open the global styles panel. Open the typography section and use the drop-down menu to browse installed fonts. You should now see the Monserrat font as an option.

Font family drop-down menu, showing the new Montserrat typography option.

Code Editor

The block editor now has a code editor, allowing users to edit the HTML of a theme.

To access the code editor, click on the three dots icon on the top-right corner of the screen and select Code editor.

Code editor in the site editor.

Theme Export Tool

WordPress 6.0 introduces the theme export tool. It lets you download your current theme and its customizations as a .zip file.

Click on the three dots icon on the top-right corner of the screen and select Export. The theme and its current customizations will then be downloaded to your computer.

WordPress site editor options menu, highlighting the theme export feature.

This is an easier way to save all your customizations and reuse them for other websites. Instead of customizing two websites separately, simply export a website’s theme and upload it to the other website.

New Template Types

WordPress 6.0 adds five new template types – author, category, date, tag, and taxonomy. You can access them when adding a new template in the block editor.

Open the Templates panel on the editor’s left sidebar and click Add New on the top-right corner of the screen. It will show six templates to choose from.

New template options in WordPress 6.0 site editor.

The new template types streamline the site editing process as you no longer need to create custom page templates for these purposes.

Block Patterns

Block patterns play a more significant role in WordPress 6.0, with new upgrades for the block editor’s quick inserter.

When opening it at the root level and outside of any block, the quick inserter now recommends patterns instead of blocks.

Block quick inserter, showing the pattern options.

This upgrade makes it easier to construct a specific section.

For example, you want to add a subscription call-to-action section before the footer. Instead of inserting the text and the button blocks manually, use the quick inserter to add a subscription block pattern to speed up the process.

New Blocks

WordPress developers improved the full site editing capability by adding more core blocks. Let’s look at the five new core blocks in WordPress 6.0.

The comments query loop block replaces the deprecated post comments block. It comprises several child blocks like comment title, comment author, and comment content that you can customize individually.

Comments query loop block on the site editor.

No Results in Query Loop

No results is a new container block that shows a specific text or other blocks when there are no query results to display.

No results block on the site editor.

Since it’s a container block, you can use paragraphs, links, or images to inform visitors that the site doesn’t have a post yet. Note that you can only insert the no results block inside the query loop block.

A homepage with a no results block showing a customized message.

Read More

Previously, the read more link in the query loop was integrated with the post excerpt block, reducing its customizability.

WordPress 6.0 fixes this by introducing the read more block, making it independent from the post excerpt. This lets you get creative by applying a different color, border style, and typography to the read more link.

Read more block on the site editor.

Post Author Biography and Avatar Blocks

WordPress 6.0 adds two new blocks to split the content of the post author block. The post author biography block shows the author’s profile description, while the avatar block displays the author’s picture.

This way, you get more options when displaying author information. For example, you can use the row block to contain the avatar and the post author biography block to display them side by side.

Avatar and author biography blocks on the site editor.

Block Improvements

Besides adding new blocks, WordPress 6.0 also introduces several improvements to existing ones. Let’s look at some of the upgrades and see how they provide better user experience and customization options.

WordPress 6.0 adds a new feature for the cover block. With a single click on the block toolbar, you can connect the cover block to the featured image and use it as the background.

Using a featured image for the cover block.

With this integration, the cover block will change accordingly when updating the featured image.

A drop-down size selector is added to the featured image block’s design tools. This feature is only accessible when adding a featured image block on a post or page.

To enable it, open the block settings panel by clicking Settings at the top-right corner of the editor. Then, click the three dots icon on the Dimensions section and select Image size.

The image size selector for the featured image block.

Block Transformation Options

WordPress 6.0 adds more block transformation options. A significant improvement is the option to easily transform container blocks – group, row, and stack – into each other.

When selecting a group, row, or stack block, open the block settings panel. You should see the three icons at the top representing each block. Click on any of them to transform the block into the one you want.

Layout transformer for container blocks in the block settings panel.

You can now also group multiple blocks into a container block. For example, you want to group several paragraphs and image blocks. Simply click and drag to select these blocks. Then, click on one of the container block icons in the toolbar.

Demonstration of transforming multiple blocks into a group block.

Additionally, WordPress 6.0 also adds the following block transformation options:

  • Logo to Title
  • Excerpt to Content
  • Tag Cloud to Categories
  • Calendar to Archives
  • Paragraph to Code
  • Group to Row

Navigation Block Improvements

The navigation block got a rich preview feature for the page link block. When you link the navigation to a public page, the preview will appear on the toolbar.

Although this is not a major update, a rich preview can be very useful to ensure that you added the correct link.

A rich preview for a navigation link.

Another improvement is the ability to set the navigation block to the only available menu. In the previous version, you had to select the menu or start from scratch when you only had one menu. This upgrade speeds up workflow.

It’s also worth mentioning that you can have a Navigation Menus panel on the block editor if you activate the Gutenberg plugin. Once activated, access the Navigation Menus panel by clicking Navigation on the top-right corner of the editor screen.

Navigation menu panel on the site editor.

In this panel, you can select and configure any navigation menu. For example, you can remove or lock any navigation item or create a nested navigation structure.

Navigation menu panel, showing a nested navigation structure.

WordPress 6.0 adds block spacing control for the gallery block, allowing for more flexibility when designing a gallery layout. You can now specify the spaces between images.

Open the block settings panel. You should see the Block spacing field in the Dimensions section. Define how many pixels you want for the spaces between images.

The block spacing feature for the gallery block.

Combine this feature with the border control tool for individual image blocks to create a unique layout.

A gallery block using a customized border, block spacing, and radius settings.

Column Border and Layout Settings

WordPress 6.0 adds border settings for the columns block. You can now change the border’s color, thickness, and radius.

This feature is available for the column container, but you can add one for individual column blocks by activating the Gutenberg plugin. As such, you can be creative with the column-based content section.

The border settings for column block.

Another improvement for the column block is the layout settings. You can now define the content width for individual column blocks. This setting works for content inside the column with center or wide alignment.

For example, you may want to set a paragraph block in a column with center alignment. If you define the maximum width, the text won’t exceed the limit, and the border will wrap around it.

The layout settings for column block.

Usability Improvements

WordPress 6.0 enhances the user experience to provide better usability and smoother workflow. It’s worth mentioning that this version aims to improve accessibility as well.

Let’s look at the significant usability improvements in WordPress 6.0.

List View Enhancement

The new list view enhancements make working with a complex page structure easier.

The list view panel will now show a collapsed view for all blocks by default. This way, you can find relevant blocks easier. It’s especially helpful when working with a complex structure that has many nested blocks.

Default collapsed list view.

When selecting a block and opening the list view panel, you will see the relevant block nest and the selected block in the structure.

Demonstration of opening the list view while a block is selected.

The enhanced list view also lets you select multiple blocks using Shift + click. You can perform bulk actions like moving, deleting, or duplicating numerous blocks.

Demonstration of selecting and removing multiple blocks in the list view.

Text Selection Across Blocks

The block editor now lets you select text across multiple blocks, including paragraphs, headings, and quotes. You can then delete, replace, or copy the selected text.

Selecting text across multiple blocks in the site editor.

This is considered a significant improvement in WordPress 6.0 as it makes text editing much easier. On the previous WordPress version, attempting this will automatically select the entire block.

Block Locking User Interface

WordPress 5.9 introduced the block locking attribute to prevent any block from being moved or deleted. However, editing code was required to lock a block. WordPress 6.0 solves this issue by adding the block locking user interface in the block editor.

There are two ways to lock a block. The first method is from the block toolbar. Select a block and click on the three dots icon on the block toolbar. Then, select Lock.

The lock option in the block toolbar menu.

The block lock attribute pop-up will appear. You can choose to Disable movement, Prevent removal, or both.

The pop-up for choosing the block locking attributes.

The second method is using the list view panel. Find the block you want to lock and click on the three dots icon. Select Lock, and the same pop-up will appear.

Block lock option in the list view

Unlocking the block involves similar steps. However, a locked block will have a lock icon on the block toolbar. Click it to open the pop-up and unlock the block.

Block lock icon on a locked block's toolbar

Block Style Retaining

Block style retaining keeps the block’s customized styles to save time.

The first one is regarding block transformation. For example, you may have a heading block with customized typography and color. When you transform it into a paragraph block, the typography and the color will remain the same.

Block style retaining when transforming a block.

The second case is for adding another button inside a button block. For example, you may have customized the button with a custom color and border style. When you add another button, it will have the same style.

Adding a new button in a buttons block with retained block styles.

This feature saves you from redoing customization work when transforming a block or adding buttons on your page.

Block Style Preview

The block style preview is changed to a pop-up when hovering on a style option. This provides a better visual because the preview appears larger.

The preview pop-up for the block style options.

Post Category Reminder

When publishing a post without selecting a category, the post editor will now suggest adding one. Although this seems like a minor improvement, it can prevent you from accidentally publishing an uncategorized post.

Category suggestion on the post editor's pre-publish checks.

How to Update to WordPress 6.0

Be sure to create a WordPress backup before updating. This way, you can recover your site if something goes wrong during the update. We also recommend using a staging environment to test the new version before implementing it on the live website.

Once you’ve done preparing, use one of the following ways to update WordPress:

  • WordPress dashboard – Log in to your WordPress dashboard. Then, navigate to Dashboard -> Updates or click the Please update now button on the notification banner. On the update page, click Update to version 6.0.
  • hPanel – This method is available for Hostinger WordPress, Cloud, and Shared web hosting clients. Go to WordPress -> Dashboard and find the WordPress version section. Click Update to 6.0 to update your WordPress site.
  • Manual update using an FTP client – This manual installation method involves downloading the WordPress 6.0 files from WordPress.org. Extract the .zip file and delete the wp-content folder and wp-config-sample.php file to prevent data and configuration loss. Then, use an FTP client to overwrite the WordPress core files and folders, except the wp-content folder and wp-config-sample.php file.
  • WordPress command-line interface (WP-CLI) – Use SSH to access your website’s root public_html directory. Once the command-line interface is connected, enter the wp core update command to perform the update.

Conclusion

WordPress 6.0 enhances the full site editing experience with various improvements to blocks and user interface. With this new version, users can be more creative and have more control over their website’s design.

We recommend updating your site to WordPress 6.0 as soon as possible to access its benefits and protect yourself from potential vulnerabilities.

Before updating your site, perform a backup and check your theme and plugin compatibility. If necessary, use a WordPress staging environment to test WordPress 6.0 safely.


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wpadmin May 24, 2022 0 Comments

A more secure web with password managers

Odds are you have a lot of passwords. Your password for Namecheap. A password for your bank. A password for your email. And on and on and on…

According to studies, the average person has between 50-100 logins and passwords to remember. That’s a lot!

Security hygiene

Having so many logins leads to a problem: poor online security hygiene.

The safest way to store passwords is in your head. But there’s no way the typical person can remember so many passwords, so most people resort to lax security practices.

For example, you might reuse the same password at multiple sites. Once one of those sites is compromised, the hackers may try the username and password combos at other sites, so if your hobby account uses the same credentials as your important accounts, someone could break into your bank account or take over your email.

Or you might create really simple passwords, like “password”. “Password,” along with “123456,” “abc123”, and “qwerty” are some of the most used passwords. Hackers use these common passwords to try to crack into accounts.

It’s easy to understand why people take these shortcuts. But this bad security hygiene leads to intrusions, which leads to potentially catastrophic results.

chicken trying to find the right key for a lock

A better way to manage your passwords

Password managers were created to solve these issues. A password manager stores all of your passwords for you so you just need to remember a single master password.

The password manager saves usernames and passwords for you and enters them into the login spaces on websites when you want to log in. You just need to log into the password manager with your master password first.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But you’re probably wondering how secure password managers are.

The companies that sell password managers talk up their security. The basic premise is that, even if the password manager’s servers get hacked, your passwords are safe. That’s because they operate on a “Zero Knowledge” system. The passwords are encrypted and cannot be decoded without your master password.

Technically, a password manager might not be as safe as remembering passwords in your head. But when you consider the shortcuts people take with passwords, a password manager ends up being the safer bet.

Once you install a password manager, you can use stronger passwords that are harder to guess. You can use unique passwords for each site without worrying about forgetting them. Password managers also alert users if one of their passwords has been compromised.

Password managers also reduce the chance that you will fall victim to a phishing scam. The password manager will only offer to fill in your login credentials if it recognizes the URL of the site. If it’s a phishing site, it won’t prompt you to fill in the saved password.

The end result is that most people who use password managers end up being safer than those who don’t.

graphic showing different password managers

Choosing a password manager

There are lots of password managers out there, and the two most popular are LastPass and 1Password.

Both of these password managers offer similar services. You create an account and then download an extension for your browser or similar software. Whenever you log into a site, the password manager asks you if you want to save the password. When you return to the site, it asks if you want to fill in the login credentials.

Both also offer apps for iOS and Android devices. With cross-device password management, you can use a password on your phone that you saved on your laptop and vice-versa.

There is very little difference in pricing between the services. LastPass charges $ 36 per year, or you can opt for the family plan for $ 48 per year. The family plan lets up to six people use the subscription, so this is a great deal. LastPass also has a free plan, but it’s limited to one device so you lose the feature that lets you log into your phone and laptop.

1password also charges $ 36 per year. Its family plan is slightly more expensive at $ 60 and has a limit of five users.

With similar core features and pricing, how should you choose?

First, consider if you care about any of the edge-case features the services offer. I recommend doing your research, and maybe taking them for a test drive (both offer free trials) to see how you feel about the user interfaces.

I tested both and found a couple of key differences. First, 1password nags you to re-enter your master password a lot more often than LastPass. While you can adjust the master password timeout, some people might like being prompted because it increases security in case someone gets ahold of your laptop. Others will find it annoying.

The other difference I found is in how they prompt you to save passwords. With LastPass, it asks if you want to save the password after you complete the login to a site. 1password requires you to save it before you click the submit button on a site’s password form. The difference is subtle but important. In many cases, I’m guessing what my password is when I enter it. With LastPass, I know if the password worked before saving. With 1password I don’t.

And 1password has a cool travel mode that lets you remove sensitive data from your devices when you cross borders and restore it when you arrive. This might be helpful for people who travel globally.

Ultimately, I chose to go with LastPass. While it also has some usability issues, I found it worked much better for me. I also like that the family plan was slightly less expensive.

Be safe online

Staying safe online starts with you. Using weak passwords or reusing them across sites opens you up to hackers who might steal your domains or your money.

Level up your security game with stronger passwords.


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wpadmin May 24, 2022 0 Comments