WordPress Themes: Free vs Premium. Know Which Is Right For You

WordPress Themes - Free vs Premium

WordPress themes have always been a point of discussion among website owners, and the reason for this emphasis is the features and functions that a theme offers to enable you to create an attractive and user-friendly website.

If you are thinking to start your site, you will have to go through the process of selecting a suitable theme from the hundreds of WordPress Themes available on the internet.  Many of these are free, and the rest are premium or paid ones.

Initially, you may think that premium WordPress themes will be better as they will have something extra that free WordPress themes don’t offer; otherwise who will buy these paid themes?

Your thoughts are in the right direction. But, it cannot be the sole criteria to choose any theme.

If you are a beginner, you may lack the feel of a theme’s function and features. All I mean to say you may not know the effect of a theme’s functions and features unless you use them.

To help you make a right decision in choosing a theme, firstly we will discuss the various pros and cons of free and premium WordPress themes. Later, we will list the points you should consider before buying any theme.

Pros Of Free WordPress Themes

No Cost To User

The first apparent positive for these WordPress themes is that they are free, meaning a user doesn’t have to pay anything. If you select any theme from WordPress themes repository at https://wordpress.org/themes/, then you can use it for free for lifetime. Moreover, you can change the theme anytime you want.

The main advantage you have with free themes is you can try as many themes as you want. There is no restriction as such. Once you are comfortable you can keep using it for the lifetime or until you change your mind.

As these themes are free and reduce the initial cost of a business to go online, a large number of people are using them during the trial period.


Strict Review Process

When you visit the official WordPress Themes Repository to download a theme, you can be assured that the theme is properly coded and supports nearly all the plugins found in the repository. Moreover, these themes are quite lean (small in size).

Twenty Seventeen - a free WordPress theme

When a theme is submitted for inclusion in the official WordPress Themes repository, it goes through a strict review process at WordPress.org. The review team has a group of volunteers who review and approve the submitted theme. Theme reviewer uses the ‘Theme Check’ plugin to test the theme and ensures it supports all the most recent WordPress theme practices and standards.

To know more about the theme review process, you can visit the URL: https://make.wordpress.org/themes/.

Cons Of Free WordPress Themes

Limited Features And Functionality

The free WordPress Themes you get from the official site, have limited features which you realize only after using them for some time.  When you compare your website’s outlook with other professional websites, you realize there is much to do to make your site comparable to them.

For example, you may not be comfortable with the page template that comes with a theme by default. So, to customize, you will need to play with CSS and PHP coding part. The other option is to install a plugin for page templates, but that will increase your website load, i.e. it will increase the load time of your website.

Similarly, you may want custom background colour feature which may not be there on the installed theme. In the same way, you may want to have the ‘search option’ in the site header area, but your theme may be offering it in the sidebar widget area.

Similarly, there are many other features you will not find in the free WordPress themes.

Not So Unique

A large number of website owners use these free themes. Out of these people, most of them use the most popular themes. For example, Seventy Seventeen theme is the most popular theme at the moment. It means a large number of people will have similar website look.

If you want your website to look unique, you have to use a unique theme and not a common one.

Business Field - a free WordPress theme

Limited Support

While using these WordPress themes, you may feel the need of technical support in many cases. Some of the scenarios are listed below:

  • When a new WordPress version is released, you would like to confirm whether your theme is compatible with it or not.
  • If you want to make some changes in the CSS or PHP files, but finding it difficult to get the desired results. You will be doing these activities for customizing your website.
  • You have uninstalled and deleted a plugin through Admin panel, but actually, it is not properly deleted and is having entries in many WordPress files.
  • When your website is malfunctioning or giving some error message, and you have exhausted the known remedial options.

Before expecting any support from the developers, you should know that the themes you download from the WordPress themes official website do not carry any warranty and the developers are not obliged to help you out.

You should join the theme support forum to expect some solution. It (solution) may come, or it may not come. Any member can offer solutions to your issues in the support forum. Sometimes even theme developers provide support via the support forum. All I want to say is that the support is not guaranteed.

If you don’t get the required support here, you may seek such support from other forums, websites, YouTube, etc.  If all this fails, the last option left is to get the paid support from professional developers.

Note – Earlier, I was using ‘Twenty Seventeen’ WordPress Theme, and I had to seek support from official theme support forum. On some issues, I got the desired support, but many of my issues remained unresolved.

Pros Of Premium WordPress Themes

More Features And Customization Options

As contrary to free WordPress Themes, premium or paid WordPress Themes offer rich features and customization options which also serve as unique selling points.

The features include search option in the site header area, multiple layouts and templates, unlimited color options, lazy loads, adding ‘async’ attribute to javascript, related post option at the bottom of a post, multiple widget options, inserting homepage link in the front page, h1 tag in the posts, and many more.

All these features help you customize your website as per your requirements, and you also need not be technical to do so. With all the enhanced features these themes make your website load faster. In all, they are more SEO optimized than free WordPress themes.

Additionally, these themes are very well coded. There are two reasons behind this – a) Theme developers are duly paid. b) There is a lot of competition in the theme market which is prompting developers to make their themes better than the others.




Read more at the site this post was originally published.

                                         Originally published at hariforyou.com


Migrate from HTTP to HTTPS: Raise security and search engine ranking

Migrate from HTTP to HTTPS

You may be thinking to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS, but unable to proceed because of the cost of an SSL certificate or the fear of site break. Let me assure you, after going through this post, both of the apprehensions will evaporate, and you can have a smooth migration from HTTP to HTTPS.

In this article, we will cover the following topics:
1. Why should we migrate a website from HTTP to HTTPS?
2. What is an SSL certificate?
3. Procedure to accomplish HTTP to HTTPS migration.

Why should we migrate a website from HTTP to HTTPS?

As per the latest survey, only 30% of the top 100,000 domains are secure. This figure was 10% in June 2016. The Significant rise in the secured domains can be attributed to the efforts by Google who is pushing hard to make the World Wide Web safe.
Find below some benefits that secure sites enjoy over the unsecured ones:

i) Encryption

Data exchange between a secure (HTTPS) website and a user–browser is encrypted, which makes it safe and secure from eavesdroppers. It means the man in the middle cannot listen, track or steal the data being exchanged.

ii) Data Integrity

The data being transferred cannot be modified.

iii) Authentication

The visitors can trust they are accessing a verified original website. They can even view the certificate attached to the secure site to gain confidence.

iv) Performance

Most of the web hosts have rolled out a new network protocol — HTTP/2. All current browsers and CDN support it. This protocol can significantly boost your website speed. The first requirement to enable HTTP/2 is an SSL certificate installed on your site.

Although I have migrated from HTTP to HTTPS, I am unable to use HTTP/2 protocol. As per Godaddy –my web host, I am using shared hosting where this feature is not provided.

v) Search engine ranking

Google has announced that HTTPS is now a lightweight ranking signal. Therefore, secure your site and get a boost to its ranking.

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What is an SSL Certificate?

Expansion of SSL is Secure Socket Layer, whereas, an SSL certificate is a small data file. After getting installed, it enables green padlock and HTTPS protocol on a website. It also creates an encrypted connection between a site and a visitor’s browser and the website URL changes from HTTP to HTTPS.

Types of SSL Certificates

Three types of SSL certificates are — i) Domain Validated certificates (DV), ii) Organization Validated certificate (OV) and iii) Extended Validation certificates (EV).

Domain Validated certificates

The certificate authority (CA) issues a domain validated certificate once it completes the verification of a domain owner. The applicant must own the domain for which the certificate is applied. No other details like the company information, etc. are asked of the applicant.

Most of the bloggers use this certificate. It is quite cheap and CA issues it within a day. Such certificates are available under $10/year.

Organization or Business Validated Certificate

The CA verifies the domain ownership and the business or organization documents of the applicant before issuing the certificate. This certificate is costlier than the domain validated certificate. The applicant receives it within 1-3 days of applying.

Extended Validation Certificate

Before issuing the EV (Extended Validation) certificate, the CA verifies domain ownership, along with detailed verification of business records related to legal, physical & operation existence. This is the costliest certificate, and it takes about ten days for the CA to issue.

Note: If you need an SSL certificate for free, you can visit Let’s Encrypt. But, you need some technical knowledge to exercise this option.

Procedure to accomplish HTTP to HTTPS migration

Take full back up of your website

Always take back up of your site before making any changes to it. You may require it in case of any site break which may happen during the migration of HTTP to HTTPS.
I took the site back up on 09-09-2017 before applying for the SSL certificate on the same day evening.

Buy an SSL certificate

Many companies are offering SSL certificates including ComodoIdenTrustSymantec, etc. But I recommend you buy the certificate from your Web Host as it will provide technical help in the implementation process. For example, my Web Host is Godaddy, and I bought the certificate from it.

Install the certificate

Instructions in the rest of this article presume you have your domain, web hosting, and SSL certificate from Godaddy.

Log in to your account at Godaddy and navigate to my products > SSL certificates > Standard SSL. Follow the guidelines in this video.

After verification of your domain ownership, Godaddy will issue the certificate and send you an email in this regard. You will not need to install it as the web host will do it.

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Update internal links to HTTPS

From the dashboard of your admin page, navigate to Settings> General Settings. Change the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) from HTTP to HTTPS. Similarly, modify all internal links to your web pages and images.

WordPress URL
Also, update all the installed plugins to have your new URL.

Special Note on the problem I faced

After updating the General Setting, when I tried to save, it didn’t save. I logged out of the Admin page to log in again. This time also settings did not save. I waited for an hour before trying again to log in. Here came the shock — WordPress did not accept my password. I knew something wrong had happened.

I was confident I didn’t make any mistake. So I called up Godaddy helpline. The customer care asked me to wait for 24 hours to 48 hours for the SSL certificate to take effect. I was adamant and asked them to provide me access to my admin page. She (customer care) asked me to change the Nameservers setting to default as it had been set for CloudFlare servers. This trick also failed. I contacted the helpline three more times, and every time they told me to wait for 24 hours to 48 hours. Although I was not convinced, still I waited until next day morning.

All of a sudden, an idea struck me in the morning, and it solved the problem. I searched the root directory of my website for the files that had been modified recently. I found the file; it was .htaccess file. I compared this file with the backed-up file on my computer. It was discovered that Godaddy had replaced the original .htaccess file with a new one with three lines of codes. I re-installed the original file from my back up and got the access to the admin page.

Then I proceeded to update all the internal links to HTTPS successfully.

Add 301 Redirects

Godaddy adds 301 redirects to the .htaccess file at the time of issuing the certificate.
For Apache web server, ensure the following entry in the .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
 RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
 RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

This step sets permanent redirect to all the URLs from HTTP to HTTPS. Furthermore, it passes nearly all the link juice of HTTP web pages to https web pages. In other words, it preserves the SEO ranking.
If you are not sure how to modify this file, then watch this video.

Install SSL certificate on CDN

If you are using CloudFlare CDN, you should set SSL setting to full. For other CDN sites, you need to refer their documentation for installing the certificate.

Update Google Search Console

Now you have migrated from HTTP to HTTPS; it is time to add a property in the Google search console. Start your website URL with https and proceed.

Add a Property

Submit Sitemap

Submit your new sitemap with https URL to Google Search console. See the image below:

Website sitemap

Update Google Analytics

Update your default URL at Google Analytics as seen in the image below:

update default URL


Fetch and render all pages and posts for quick indexing by Google. Otherwise, Google may take weeks to crawl all contents.

Submit your disavow file again

Earlier if you submitted a disavow file (to Google) to recover from negative SEO, then after migrating to HTTPS, you need to submit it again.

Final Words on HTTP to HTTPS migration

You can see it requires careful effort to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS. But, when you consider the benefits you will realize it is worth making such efforts.

If you face some unexpected problems during the migration process, revisit the above points to resolve them.

. . .

This Post Originally Appeared at hariforyou.com

Top bloggers in the world

Top 10 bloggers of the world in 2017

Blogging is a popular term on the internet these days. Most of the people surfing internet are involved with blogging in one way or the other. For instance, they either write blogs or guest comments on blogs or read blogs from other people. The reason for blog popularity is that it offers free knowledge on various topics to its readers and money to blog writers. We will talk about top 10 bloggers of the world in 2017 and tell you what they do and how much they earn.

Many people have adopted blogging as a career. We are going to provide you a list of top 10 bloggers of the world in 2017. If these people can make it big regarding popularity and money, you can also do so. But it will require expertise on the subject of your niche and consistent hard work.

List of top 10 bloggers of the world

10. Life Hacker

This site was launched by Gawker Media in 2005, and it is currently owned by Univision Communications. Blogs are touching nearly every part of life ranging from tech, health, life, productivity, work, money to gallery. The main motto of the site is to make life easier by providing life hacks on the above topics. Some site stats are:

Alexa global rank – 69,835
Total site linking – 418
Source of Income – Advertising banners
Estimated monthly income – $110,000

9. Tutsplus.com

This site was launched by Collis Taeed in 2006 & office is based in Australia. It is meant for learning software skills in code, design & illustration, game development, photo & video, music, etc. It is useful for the people who want to learn or upgrade creative skills at their own pace and at their choice of time and place. Some site stats are:

Alexa global rank – 1,705
Total site linking – 13,156
Source of Income – Membership Area
Estimated monthly income – $120,000

8. Timothy Sykes

He is an American who does stock trading and write blogs about it. Timothy also offers stock advisory services to earn money. He started his career with $ 13,000 and became a millionaire in a couple of years doing day trading. Some site stats are:

Alexa global rank – 58,083
Total site linking – 514
Source of Income – Advertising banners
Estimated monthly income – $150,000

7. Smart Passive Income

This site is created by an American entrepreneur and blogger Pat Flynn in 2008. He is running many courses online to teach proven strategies for running an online business and optimizing it for passive income. Some site stats are:

Alexa global rank – 34,643
Total site linking – 3,282
Source of Income – Affiliate commissions
Estimated monthly income – $153,000

6. Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine website was founded by Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman in 2006. It publishes articles on web design and graphic design for professionals. They are selling eBooks and printed books. Some site stats are:

Alexa global rank – 5,165
Total site linking – 15,805
Source of Income – Advertising banners
Estimated monthly income – $190,000

5. The blonde salad

Chiara Ferragni is also known as The Blonde Salad in the blogger community. She is an Italian businesswoman and fashion designer and started blogging career in 2009. This site produces blogs on fashion, beauty, people, lifestyle, and talents. Besides, it offers shopping on various products such as clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. Some site stats are:

Alexa global rank – 85,313
Total site linking – 2,154
Source of Income – Private advertising
Estimated monthly income – $200,000

4. Perez Hilton

Perez Hilton is an American blogger and launched this site in 2004. He currently resides in Hollywood. His website carries gossip items about celebrities. It receives over 300 million hits a month. He has been featured on many newspaper sites and magazine sites. Some site stats are:

Alexa global rank – 6,047
Total site linking – 5,921
Source of Income – Advertising banners
Estimated monthly income – $450,000

You can find the complete article at Top 10 bloggers of the world in 2017


Read before going for Web hosting renewal

Is your website is due for web hosting renewal, or you are planning to buy web hosting service for starting a blog, wait – I have some advice for you that will save money.

When you browse the internet, you find many web hosts offering great discounts to lure you. Don’t accept the biggest discount offer; rather evaluate and rank them on the following parameters:

  • Features
  • Support
  • Price
  • Uptime
  • Speed
  • Reviews

These are essential parameters, and you can find the performance of nearly every web host on the internet and then take the decision.

I have discussed this topic in detail at my personal blog for your reference. Please visit the site, and if you like the post,  share it on your social networks.

Must visit websites for free photo editors and free images

You have recently adopted blogging, but suddenly find yourself in a difficult situation — you need some good quality images and a photo editing software so that you can create awesome graphics to attract the audience to your blog posts, but all this for free, which is not easily available.

If you can spend some good amount of money you can purchase them online. Since you do not want to spend money initially on such things, you start searching the internet.  This search activity is going to take a lot of time and energy. You may find yourself forced to go for the purchase of these items.

But, relax. I have searched and tested such websites and created a list of popular websites for free images and free photo editors. This list consists of a couple of photo editor websites and four free image websites.

Let‘s talk about the free image websites first.  These websites provide high-quality images that can include photos and vectors. Resolutions of these images are generally above 4K x 2K. These are very frequently visited websites and have thousands of images of a wide variety of categories.

All these image sites are providing free material under the Creative Commons CC0 license. This license allows you to download any image, any number of times. You can modify these images – crop the images, resize the images, apply filters to these images, add text to these images, add symbols or shapes to these images.

You can use these images anywhere you want as per your requirements. Moreover, you can also use them for social media posts like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus etc.

One important point to note—always read the license agreement on each site before downloading these images.

Now, let’s talk about photo editor websites. These sites offer an online tool to edit your images. Although these software tools are free to use, they have nearly all the features of a commercial photo editing software. If you want this free stuff, please visit Popular photo editor and stock photos websites for free usage

Essential WordPress plugins for your website

Do you own a WordPress website? If yes, you must be using a number of plugins to customize your site beyond the theme customizer options. But, are you sure these are the best plugins for your website.

This is a difficult question and only professional bloggers / site owners know the answer. But to make the matter simple we have prepared a list of top 13 popular WordPress plugins which are reliable, high quality, free and well supported.

Before installing and activating these plugins on your website, please ensure they meet the requirements of your site.

To know them in detail, please visit the URL:


Top five ways to earn money online


These days many people are making money online & I am sure you also know a few of
them.  You are also tempted to earn some extra cash to feel at ease financially. But you are not sure where to start.  We will try to answer this question in this post.

1. Write an article

If you possess good writing skills and presentation skills, you can start article writing. This you can do for popular bloggers and webmasters as they always look for fresh &
new contents. You need to contact these people through email and offer your service.
You can make some good money through this way.

For further reading click here

You can register at some of the freelance websites. These sites will help you in getting article writing work.  Some popular websites for article writing work are:
a) Upwork, b) Freelancer, c) Fiverr, d) Guru,  e) Crowdsource

2. Affiliate Marketing

This is the favorite way of online earning for most of the bloggers. It does not require any investments, yet rewards are very good. There are people earning more than $4,000 a
month using this way.  There are many companies offering an affiliate program.

Before joining any affiliate program, read and understand affiliate marketing.  Compare the various companies’ program and then decide whichever suits you better.
The most popular company in this field is Amazon.  You can also try this.

3. Sell Domain names

There are some sites where domain names are available at cheaper rates. You can buy some popular domain names and register them for auction.  Some of the popular sites offering domain auction services are:
a) GoDaddy, b) afternic, c) sedo, d) snapnames
You can earn up to $20,000 depending on the deal.


4. Monetize YouTube videos

This is probably the most popular method of making money online.  Because it does not require you to invest anything for gaining very good returns.  You need to create your own genuine videos free from all copyright issues and meeting the requirements of YouTube’s terms & conditions.

You can make a video on any topic you like. The topic can be – how to configure a
Wordpress theme, how to monetize YouTube videos, how to create soft chapatis, etc.
Then you can upload the video to YouTube’s website which is free for everyone and also
among the top ranking website in the world. Your video will be instantly available to billion of audiences available around the world.

5. Online tutoring work

If you are a professional teacher or possess good knowledge of a particular subject, you
can start online tutoring work and make some money online. For this, you need to have a computer, high-speed internet connection, skype and a webcam.
You can register with some tutor website and they help you getting the work.


There are hundreds of way of making money online. But you have to select which is better for you. You need to select your niche first, and then adopt one or more methods to earn online.  Believe me, if you are consistent, hard worker, motivated, and have patience you will definitely succeed.