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With over 1.3 billion – yes billion – users on Facebook Messenger alone, it’s no wonder more online businesses are looking to connect to their audience via SMS messages. After all, staying in contact with people once they leave your WordPress site is one of the best ways to forge long-lasting relationships and generate more sales.
But how do you send SMS messages using WordPress?
While there are many ways to send an SMS message to a site visitor that has subscribed to your WordPress website, we’ve found that one of the easiest ways is to use SendinBlue, an exceptional email service provider you might already be using.
So, let’s take a look at the benefits SMS messaging provides website owners and how to get in on the texting action.
What is SMS messaging?
SMS messaging, better known as text messaging, is a way to communicate with others using technology (such as a phone, tablet, or app) and written text.
In other words, rather than pick up the phone and give someone a ring, you can just pick up your phone or other device and send someone a written message instead.
SMS messaging comes with plenty of benefits. For example, it’s:
- Useful – even for businesses – 80% of professionals claim they use text for business purposes, text messaging offers an easy way to communicate with others.
- Fast – if you’re the type of person that loves to text all day long, you don’t want it to take forever. After all, the average American sends and receives about 32 texts a day, and that’s on the low end. Adding to that, people can check their text messages quicker than almost any other form of communication, even email.
- Convenient – the great thing about SMS messaging is that it doesn’t (usually) disrupt what you’re doing in the moment. It also doesn’t require you to actually talk to people (the horror I know!), which is appealing to many. And, as a result, 60% of consumers check their text messages within 1-5 minutes.
- Effective – when it comes to businesses using SMS messaging to target their customers, they typically see engagement rates 6-8 times higher than that of email and coupon redemptions at a rate of 70-80%.
How an online business can use SMS messaging
Not convinced of the value SMS messaging has for an online business? Check out these neat ways you can take advantage of SMS messaging:
- Instant sign up confirmations
- Customer feedback/surveys
- Event reminders
- Discount codes and sales promotions
- Notifications of new site content
- eCommerce alerts (e.g., purchase, delivery, and billing information)
- Email reminders
- And so much more
As you can see, no matter which end of an SMS message you’re on, there are benefits to be had. Now let’s see how to use SendinBlue to help you send SMS messages to your WordPress subscribers.
How to send SMS messages using WordPress (and SendinBlue)
SendinBlue is a great email marketing provider that also happens to let website owners just like you send SMS messages to people that have subscribed to your email list.
Step 1: Enable SMS messaging
If you haven’t already, the first thing you’ll have to do is create a SendinBlue account. Luckily, SendinBlue is an affordable email marketing service that comes with a generous free plan to get started.
Once inside your account, you’ll need to enable SMS messaging. To do this, click on the (+) at the top of your account’s dashboard.
Next, toggle on the SMS Campaigns feature to begin sending SMS messages to your subscribers.
Step 2: Input mobile numbers and buy SMS credits
Before you begin creating your first SMS messaging campaign, you’ll have to do two things:
- Make sure the mobile numbers of your subscribers have been added to your contact list
- Purchase SMS credits that will reduce by one for every message you send
To make sure the mobile numbers of your subscribers have been added to your SendinBlue contacts list, click the Contacts tab in your account. Then, under the SMS column, see that the numbers are there.
Remember, the way to collect mobile numbers is to gather that information during the opt-in process using an exceptional WordPress opt-in form plugin like Thrive Leads. Just make sure that any person you send an SMS message to has also opted in to receive these types of messages.
Next, click the Get more credits link in your account to purchase SMS credits.
Choose the number of credits you’d like to buy and complete your purchase. Keep in mind that when you purchase SMS credits, it can take up to 48 hours for them to activate within your account. This means it may take a while for you to actually be able to send a message to users.
Step 3: Create an SMS campaign
To create your first SMS messaging campaign, click the Create my first SMS campaign button.
On the next page, you’ll be able to fill out the following:
- Campaign name
- SMS sender
- SMS message
- Sending interval
You’ll also be able to send a test message to make sure everything looks the way you want it to before sending the actual message live to all your subscribers.
Click Next Step and select the contact list you’d like to send SMS messages to. You can also choose to segment a portion of your contact list or exclude those that are unengaged with your email campaigns so you don’t waste credits on those that likely won’t open your message.
Lastly, review your campaign and click Schedule. You can either send the message now or schedule it for a later date.
If you choose to send it now, confirm one last time and voila, your first SMS message will be queued to send.
And there you have it! You now know how to send SMS messages to WordPress subscribers using the popular, and quite affordable, SendinBlue service.
Keeping in touch with site visitors after they’ve subscribed to your WordPress site and have left is crucial if you want them coming back for more. And, while email continues to prove itself as one of the best marketing strategies for boosting site traffic, conversions, and sales, there’s no denying the power that SMS messages have on your site visitors’ desire to seek out more of what you have to offer.
So, take advantage of SMS messaging and reach out to your subscribers in new and exciting ways. If you do, you’ll find your success multiplying in ways you never thought possible.
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Do you struggle with site speed despite using
a quality host and a clean, lightweight theme? Are your SEO rankings not as
high as you feel they should be?
What you need is a quality caching plugin
that’ll generate a static version of your site to serve to visitors rather than
having each one load the entirety of your site every time.
In this post, we’re going to cover seven of
the best caching plugins for WordPress.
The best WordPress caching plugins to speed up your website
- WP Rocket – Best all round WordPress caching plugin.
- Cache Enabler – A simple caching plugin that is easy to use.
- Breeze – Simple free caching plugin maintained by Cloudways.
- WP Fastest Cache – A well featured caching plugin.
- Comet Cache – Freemium caching plugin with a solid feature set.
- W3 Total Cache – Feature packed but complicated to use. Ideal for developers.
- WP Super Cache – A simple caching plugin maintained by Automattic.
1. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a premium WordPress caching plugin that offers a large collection of site optimization features. It’s used on over 1 million websites, and some of its customers include SeedProd, ThemeIsle, MainWP, Beaver Builder, CoSchedule and Codeable.
Its code is clean, commented and filled with
hooks, making it an ideal option for developers. WordPress multisite is also
- Page Caching – Caching is enabled in the plugin by default and is its most essential functionality for improving site speed. Cart and checkout pages generated by ecommerce plugins are excluded.
- Browser Caching – WP Rocket stores static CSS and JS-based content in your visitor’s browser for quicker load times when they visit additional pages on your site.
- Cache Preloading – Simulates a visit and preloads the cache after each clearing to speed things up when search engine bots crawl your website. You can also enable DNS prefetching by preloading DNS resolutions from external domains.
- Sitemap Preloading – Sitemaps generated by Yoast, All-in-One SEO and Jetpack are detected automatically, and URL’s from sitemaps are preloaded.
- File Optimization – Minification for HTML, CSS and JS files is available as is Gzip compression. Query strings are also removed from CSS and JS files to improve performance grades in website performance tools like Pingdom, GTmetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights. You can also defer JS files.
- Image Optimization – Lazy load images on your site so they’re only loaded when visitors scroll where they’re displayed.
- Database Optimization – Clean up your site’s database on the fly, and schedule regular cleanings to keep things running smooth automatically.
- Google Fonts Optimization – WP Rocket improves performance grades by combining HTTP requests, including those made by Google Fonts, into groups.
- CDN Compatibility – Integration with numerous CDN services is available by inputting your CDN’s CNAME record. A direct integration with Cloudflare allows you to manage Cloudflare’s cache and enable development mode from the WordPress dashboard.
WP Rocket is available for as low as $49 for
one website and one year of support and updates. Renewals are offered at a 30%
discount. All plans are backed by a 14-day refund policy.
2. Cache Enabler
Cache Enabler is a free WordPress caching plugin by KeyCDN, a high-performance content delivery network service optimized for multiple content management systems.
Cache Enabler is lightweight has support for custom post types, WordPress multisite and the ability to implement caching via WP-CLI commands, including clearing the cache for all pages, object ID’s 1, 2 and 3, and particular URL’s.
- Page Caching – Cache Enabler offers page
caching with automatic and on-demand cache clearings. You can even clear the
cache of specific pages.
- File Optimization – Minification is available
for HTML and inline JS. KeyCDN recommends using Autoptimize for full
optimization. Gzip compression is available as well.
- WebP Support – Cache Enabler will convert
compatible JPG and PNG files into WebP images when used alongside Optimus,
KeyCDN’s image compression plugin.
Cache Enabler is entirely free to use and
available for download from the WordPress plugin directory.
Breeze is a free WordPress caching plugin developed and maintained by Cloudways, a host that offers flexible plans and support for multiple CMS’s. Cloudways sites have Varnish caching systems built into them by default, which implements caching at the server level. Breeze supports Varnish and complements this with page caching.
- Page Caching – Breeze is Cloudways’ way of
caching your WordPress site’s pages, but you can also choose to exclude
individual file types and URL’s from caching.
- File Optimization – This plugin groups and
minifies HTML, CSS and JS files to reduce file sizes while limiting the number
of requests your server receives. Gzip compression is available as well.
- Database Optimization – Breeze allows you to
clean up the WordPress database.
- CDN Integration – The plugin operates well
with most CDN services and is designed to allow images, CSS and JS files to be
served from a CDN.
Breeze is free to use for Cloudways customers
and general WordPress users alike.
4. WP Fastest Cache
WP Fastest Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins available for WordPress. It’s used on over 1 million sites and has numerous site optimization features for you to use.
While the plugin is simple to set up and use, there are still a number of different technical settings and features advanced users can configure to optimize it even further.
- Page Caching – This plugin offers page caching
and the ability to delete cached and minified files manually. You can also
specify a cache timeout rate. Widget caching is included as well as is page
- Preloading – Preload a cached version of your
site whenever it’s cleared to prevent search engine bots or users from having
to perform this task unknowingly.
- Browser Caching – Like WP Rocket, WP Fastest
Cache stores static content in your visitor’s browser to enhance your site’s
performance as they jump from page to page.
- File Optimization – Minify and combine HTML,
CSS and JS for enhanced page speed. Render-blocking JS and Gzip compression is
- Image Optimization – This plugin reduces your
images’ file sizes and converts JPG and PNG images into WebP. Unfortunately,
the former service is charged at a rate of one image optimization per credit.
Credit rates are $0.01 for one, $1 for 500, $2 for 1,000, $8 for 5,000 and $15 for 10,000. You can also
implement lazy loading for images.
- Database Optimization – Cleans your site’s database
by removing post revisions, trashed pages and posts, comments labelled Trash or
Spam, trackbacks and pingbacks, and transient options.
- Google Fonts Optimization – This features
loads Google Fonts on your site asynchronously to increase site speed and
improve performance scores.
- CDN Support – WP Fastest Cache supports CDN
services, especially Cloudflare.
WP Fastest Cache is a freemium plugin, which
means you can get started with it free of charge by installing it from the WordPress
plugin directory. The premium version costs a one-time fee of at least $59.
5. Comet Cache
Comet Cache is a freemium caching plugin by WP Sharks. It offers automatic caching for general WordPress users but includes numerous features for developers. These include an advanced plugin system developers can play with alongside WP-CLI cache commands. There are also numerous ways to customize the plugin’s cache settings.
Comet Cache is also compatible with WordPress multisite, ManageWP and InfiniteWP.
- Page Caching – Comet Cache’s page caching does
not serve cached pages to logged-in users or recent commenters by default nor
does it cache admin pages, login pages, POST/PUT/DELETE/GET requests or WP-CLI
processes. You can also disable automatic cache clearings for specific post
types and taxonomies (home page, blog page, author pages, individual categories
and tags, etc.). 404 requests and RSS feeds are also cached.
- Auto Cache Engine – This tool preloads your
site’s cache in 15-minute intervals to ensure a cached version of your site is
not generated by a search engine bot.
- Browser Caching – Serve additional pages to
visitors quicker by storing static content in their browsers.
- File Optimization – An HTML Compressor tool
combines and minifies HTML, CSS and JS files. Gzip compression is also
- CDN Compatibility – Comet Cache supports
multiple CDN hostnames and allows you to serve some or all of the static files
on your site from a CDN.
You can get started with Comet Cache’s basic
page caching, browser caching and advanced plugin system for free. Additional
features are available in a premium version for as little as a one-time fee of
$39 for a single-site license. This fee includes three years of support, after
which you’ll be required to pay $9 for each additional year of support.
6. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is a popular WordPress caching plugin with over 1 million active installations. It’s one of the most widely-used caching plugins available for the CMS, even if it is one of the most technical.
Speaking of which, W3 Total Cache is compatible with WordPress multisite, and caching via WP-CLI commands is available as well.
- Page Caching – W3 Total Cache’s page caching
provides caching for pages, posts and feeds for posts, categories, tags,
comments, and search results. Caching for database objects as well as objects
and fragments in memory is available as well.
- Browser Caching – Browser caching is available
with cache control, future expires headers and entity tags.
- File Optimization – Minify and combine HTML,
CSS and JS files. Minification is also available for posts and pages as well as
inline, embedded and third-party CSS and JS. You can also defer non-critical
CSS and JS.
- Image Optimization – Lazy loading is available
to prevent large images from having a negative affect on page speed.
- CDN Integration – This plugin also makes it
easy to connect your site to a CDN service and have your HTML, CSS and JS files
served from there.
The vast majority of W3 Total Cache’s settings are included in the free version, which you can download directly from WordPress.org. W3 Total Cache Pro costs $99/year and includes fragment caching along with access to W3 Total Cache’s extension framework, two features meant to entice advanced users and developers.
7. WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a popular WordPress caching plugin officially developed and maintained by Automattic themselves. It’s a free and simple caching plugin you can activate and leave as is, but it also has numerous settings you can configure to your liking.
WP Super Cache is also compatible with WordPress multisite, and there are plenty of hooks and features built in for developers to play around with and optimize.
- Page Caching – This plugin caches your site by
generating different static HTML files (or cached versions of your site) based
on a user’s actions. These include whether or not they’re logged in and whether
or not they’ve commented recently. There are also three different forms of
caching you can choose from to control the way the plugin caches your site. It
ranges from a simple “set-it-and-forget” mode to a more technical
version that enables PHP editing for developers.
- Cache Preloading – Preload a cached version of
your site in regular intervals (after the cache is cleared) to prevent search engine
bots or visitors from bearing the brunt by generating new files.
- CDN Integration – WP Super Cache allows you to
serve cached versions of your site’s HTML, CSS and JS files through your choice
of CDN service fo better performance.
- .htaccess Optimization – This plugin updates
your site’s .htaccess file. It recommends creating a backup of it prior to
WP Super Cache is a free WordPress caching
plugin available for download from the official WordPress plugin directory.
How to choose the best WordPress caching plugin for your site
Choosing a caching plugin for your site can be
difficult. They’ll only conflict with one another if you use two or more at
once, and they each offer similar features in different ways. Plus, caching is
a highly technical topic, which can make it even more difficult to determine
which option to go with.
Check with your host first. They may implement
caching for you at the server level. Some even limit the types of plugins you
can install. Kinsta, for instance, disallows all caching plugins except WP
Rocket on its servers. It disables WP Rocket’s caching functionality by default
but allows you to use its other features.
You should also ensure the plugin has starting and renewal rates that match your budget.
For most sites, WP Rocket will be the most ideal considering it has advanced features that help Google’s Web Core Vitals and can result in significant performance gains.
If you want a free WordPress caching plugin, we recommend taking a look at Cache Enabler first because of how simple it is to use.
Because site speed is so imperative for SEO
and user experience, it’s best to choose a plugin that offers several different
ways for you to optimize your site. These plugins include solutions like WP
Rocket, WP Fastest Cache and Comet Cache.