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How to Downgrade Your WordPress Site (For Troubleshooting Plugin and Theme Issues)

Running your WordPress installation, plugins, and theme on the latest available versions is a crucial best practice for using the platform. It’s also recommended to use the most recent version of PHP. However, there are some cases when this isn’t prudent or possible.

If you find yourself in such a situation, you may need to reverse an update and downgrade your WordPress site (or part of it). Fortunately, there are methods available for rolling back each element of your website.

This post will explain why you might need to downgrade WordPress, as well as how to do so safely. We’ll cover restoring previous versions of WordPress, as well as rolling back plugins, themes, and PHP.

Let’s get started!

Why You Might Want to Downgrade Your WordPress Version or Other Features

Running the latest version of WordPress core (in our case WordPress 5.5), plugins, and themes is one of the most important steps in maintaining your website. These updates often include security patches that are vital to preventing malicious attacks on your site and may enhance performance and functionality.

For this reason, we don’t recommend ever downgrading WordPress or any of its components permanently. However, there are some situations in which you may want to do so on a temporary basis.

The most common reason is due to a plugin or theme conflict. If one of your site’s elements is not compatible with the latest version of WordPress core, for example, downgrading your installation can enable visitors to access the feature while you work on a long-term solution.

(Suggested reading: How to Fix “The site is experiencing technical difficulties.†Error in WordPress).

In cases when the conflict is between two plugins, or between a plugin and your theme, downgrading WordPress itself won’t help. Instead, you’ll need to roll back the version of the plugin or theme that’s causing the problem, in order to get your site up and running again.

Additionally, some older plugins and themes may not be compatible with newer versions of PHP. If the plugin or theme in question is vital to the functionality of your site, you might want to downgrade PHP for a time while you find an alternative solution.

In short, downgrading WordPress should be a temporary troubleshooting procedure. You’ll want to plan on updating your website again once you’ve replaced the problematic plugin or theme, or otherwise addressed the issue causing a conflict on your site.

Suggested reading: here’s a curated list of the best WordPress themes and the best plugins.

How to Downgrade Your WordPress Site (6 Methods)

The process of downgrading your WordPress site will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish. You may find that you need to restore a previous version of your entire website, or that you only need to revert an individual plugin or theme rather than WordPress itself.

With that in mind, here are six different ways you might roll back your website. Each addresses a different need, so we suggest reading through all of them to see which is most applicable to your specific situation.

1. Downgrade Your WordPress Version Manually

If you’re experiencing a serious conflict that prevents you from accessing the back end of your website, downgrading WordPress manually may be your best or only option. Before you get started, you’ll want to back up your site just to be safe.

Next, you should deactivate all of your plugins. This is easy enough if you have access to the WordPress backend. Simply select the checkbox next to each plugin, and use the bulk Deactivate option:

Bulk deactivating WordPress plugins on the backend

Bulk deactivating WordPress plugins on the backend

If you don’t have access to your dashboard, you can deactivate plugins manually using Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and a client such as FileZilla. You’ll also need these tools for future steps, so if you aren’t familiar with them you may want to take a moment to learn how they work.

You’ll then need to download the relevant version of WordPress. We recommend using the newest release possible, which is usually the second-most recent version. You can access the files you’ll need in the WordPress Release Archive:

wordpress release archive

The WordPress Release Archive

Then, using FTP and FileZilla (or another client), access your site’s files and delete your wp-admin and wp-includes directories:

delete wp includes

Deleting wp-admin and wp-includes via FTP

Once that’s done, upload all the files from the version of WordPress that you want to install, except for the wp-content directory. When asked if you want to overwrite files, select Overwrite > Ok:

overwrite file ftp

Overwriting files in FileZilla

Then, navigate to your site’s backend. You may see a message asking you to update your database. If so, click on the Update WordPress Database prompt. After that, log in to your site as usual.

You should now have access, and be running the older version of WordPress:

downgraded wordpress install

A downgraded WordPress installation

At this point, you can re-activate your plugins and work on resolving the original conflict.

You may want to disable automatic updates as well, to prevent WordPress from installing another version in the meantime. When your issue is fixed, you can return to the latest version of WordPress from the Updates screen in your dashboard.

2. Use WP Downgrade to Run a Previous Version of WordPress

If you’re uncomfortable with FTP and the idea of deleting core files, there is a plugin available for downgrading WordPress. If you like this idea, go ahead and install WP Downgrade after backing up your site:

Installing WP Downgrade plugin

Installing WP Downgrade plugin

Then, navigate to Settings > WP Downgrade and enter your target version of WordPress into the relevant field:

downgrade target version

Setting the WordPress target version

Click on Save Changes, and then go to the Updates screen. You’ll see that your target version is now listed as the “latest version of WordPressâ€:

re install wordpress

Re-installing WordPress 5.0

Click on the Re-install Now button to complete the downgrade. WordPress will appear to run a normal update, and then you should see the welcome message for your target version:

wordpress 5.0 welcome

The WordPress 5.0 welcome message

To re-install the most recent version of WordPress once you’re done troubleshooting, you’ll need to return to Settings > WP Downgrade. You can change your target version back to the latest update, and then repeat the process detailed above.

3. Restore a Previous Backup to Undo Changes to Your Site

Another way to downgrade your site is by restoring a backup from when your site was running an earlier version of WordPress. In order for this to work, of course, you’ll need to have a reliable backup system in place.

You’ll also need to make sure that the copy of your site being restored isn’t missing any key content that has been recently added. You don’t want to inadvertently lose your latest posts while trying to downgrade WordPress. If your site is highly dynamic, this may not be the best route to take.

If you do choose to proceed, the process of restoring your backup will vary depending on the system you used to create and store your files. For example, Kinsta customers can take advantage of our one-click restoration process. Simply log in to your MyKinsta dashboard to get started, and click on Sites:

The MyKinsta Dashboard

The MyKinsta Dashboard

Select the WordPress site you wish to restore from the list. Then navigate to the Backups tab:

MyKinsta site backups

MyKinsta site backups

Click on the Restore to drop-down menu. If you wish to test the backup in a staging environment, you can do so here. To downgrade your live site to the version of WordPress in the backup file, select Live:

MyKinsta backup restoration options

MyKinsta backup restoration options

To prevent accidental restorations, we require one final step before reverting your live site. Enter your website’s name into the relevant field, then click on Restore Backup to confirm and start the process:

Restoring backups through MyKinsta

Restoring backups through MyKinsta

It may take a while for the restoration process to complete. Once it does, you’ll be able to regain access to your site’s back end. We’ll also create a backup of your site just before the restoration, in case you need to undo the process.

4. Manually Downgrade a Plugin or Theme

In the event that you need to downgrade a plugin or theme instead of WordPress core, you can do so manually using a process similar to that in Method #1. To get started, you’ll need to retrieve the files for the older version of the plugin or theme you wish to downgrade.

For plugins in the WordPress directory, you can find older versions by clicking on Advanced View on the feature page:

plugin advanced view

The Advanced View link on a plugin page in the WordPress Directory

Scroll to the bottom of the page, then select the version you need from the drop-down menu and click on Download:

plugin previous versions

Downloading a previous version of a plugin via the WordPress Plugin directory

Unzip the file and save it to your computer. Then make a backup of your site just in case something goes wrong, and connect to your server using FTP and your preferred client. There, navigate to wp-content > plugins.

Next, you’ll need to rename the directory for the existing version of your plugin. Then upload the folder for the prior version you wish to downgrade to:

upload previous plugin version

Uploading an old version of a plugin via FTP

This should successfully restore the older version of the plugin you need. Plus, you’ll be keeping the latest version easily available, so you can switch back to it when you’re ready.

Tired of experiencing issues with your WordPress site? Get the best and fastest hosting support with Kinsta! Check out our plans

Unfortunately, this method gets tricker for themes and premium plugins. The process for rolling them back is more or less the same, but the WordPress Theme directory doesn’t have previous versions readily available for download.

As for premium plugins, previous versions may or may not be easily accessible. If you can’t find the version of the plugin or theme that you need, your best bet is to try contacting the developer for help.

5. Roll Back Plugin and Theme Updates With WP Rollback

Fortunately, there is a simpler method for downgrading plugins and themes. All you need to do is install and activate WP Rollback:

Installing WP Rollback plugin

Installing WP Rollback plugin

This plugin is routinely updated and has an impressive five-star rating in the WordPress Plugin directory. Once it’s up and running, navigate to your Plugins list.

You’ll now see a Rollback button under each plugin’s title, alongside the standard options:

The rollback option enabled

The rollback option enabled

If you click on this new option, you’ll be redirected to a page where you can select your target version. Then select the Rollback button to start the downgrade process:

Selecting a plugin rollback target version

Selecting a plugin rollback target version

Rolling back themes is just as easy. Navigate to Appearance > Themes in your dashboard, and select the one you wish to downgrade. There will now be a Rollback button at the bottom of the window:

rollback theme

Rolling back a WordPress theme

On the following screen, you can select your target version and initiate the downgrade process, just as you would for a plugin. When you need to restore the plugin or theme in question, you can do so from the relevant directory.

6. Revert to an Older Version of PHP

In 2019, WordPress made some changes to its PHP requirements. For this reason, as well as the many benefits of using the most recent version, upgrading your site’s PHP is always recommended.

However, some older plugins that haven’t been well maintained may not be compatible with newer versions of PHP. Ideally, you’ll always use tools that receive regular updates and support from their developers.

However, in the event that you have an outdated plugin that’s crucial to the functionality of your website, but doesn’t work with the latest version of PHP, you can perform a downgrade. Kinsta customers have the advantage of being able to easily switch PHP versions right from their MyKinsta dashboard.

To do so, log in to your account. Navigate to Sites, select the one you wish to downgrade PHP for, then click on the Tools tab and scroll down to PHP Engine:

PHP engine in MyKinsta

PHP engine in MyKinsta

Use the Modify drop-down menu to select the version you need:

Selecting a PHP version in the MyKinsta dashboard

Selecting a PHP version in the MyKinsta dashboard

In the resulting window, click on Modify PHP Version to initiate the process:

modify php version 1

Confirming a PHP version downgrade

If you’re not a Kinsta customer, or you need a version of PHP that’s even older than the ones available via the PHP Engine feature, you’ll need to downgrade PHP using the command line.

This process is more advanced and carries more risks. It may be better to consider replacing the problematic plugin or theme immediately in this case, instead of downgrading PHP and attempting to troubleshoot the conflict further.

Although it’s not best practice, there are scenarios where you temporarily need to downgrade #WordPress. As there’s no native way provided, check out this detailed guide on how to do that! ðŸ”âš™ï¸Click to Tweet

Summary

Downgrading WordPress is sometimes necessary when troubleshooting your site or carrying out other key tasks. While there isn’t a native feature for accomplishing this goal, there are several methods for reverting to a previous version of your site.

This blog post covered six different ways to downgrade your WordPress site and its various elements:

  1. Downgrade your WordPress site manually.
  2. Use WP Downgrade to run a previous version of WordPress.
  3. Restore a previous backup to undo changes to your site.
  4. Manually downgrade a plugin or theme.
  5. Rollback plugin and theme updates with WP Rollback.
  6. Revert to an older version of PHP.

Do you have any questions about downgrading WordPress? Ask away in the comments section below!

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PHP vs Python: Is There a Clear Choice in 2020?

There are dozens of great languages to learn. Today we’ll be breaking down the differences between two of the best: PHP vs Python. Which one is best for your application? Which is going to give you the best return on your development time?

We’ll pit these two head-to-head and find out which is the best choice for you.

Ease of Installation

If you’re building a small application by yourself, PHP has three simple advantages.

Installation is a breeze. It runs well on Windows (native or WSL), OS X, and Linux, and can be found on a variety of shared hosting sites around the world, usually for a minimal fee.

Installing Python can be a difficult proposition. If you’re on OS X, there’s an existing system version of Python that came installed on your computer.

Bad news.

It’s outdated and not suitable for application development.

Trust me, you don’t want to install new packages on the system Python. You’ll need to install a new version to make sure your system is as stable as possible.

Python on Windows can also take a bit of work to install.

The most common advice is to use a Windows package manager like Chocolatey as you start out. If you’re planning for a team, that little bit of extra work can add up.

If your team’s on Linux, though, you’ll have no problems installing Python.

PHP wins this round on account of being easier to install pretty much everywhere.

Score: PHP 1, Python 0

Library Management

Python has a strong advantage over PHP.

Python uses Pip (a recursive acronym that stands for “Pip Installs Pythonâ€) to manage packages. Pip makes managing different libraries within a Python application simple, it’s fast, and your project’s requirements are easy to parse at a glance. As a Python developer, Pip is an essential tool to have in your toolbag.

PHP’s library management isn’t as strong.

PHP 7 introduced Composer, which is a fantastic tool, mostly feature complete, and (when paired with a tool like Packagist), you’ll find package management close to on-par with Python’s. Unfortunately, it’s still pretty young.  

At the end of the day, Python has a broader variety of mature packages, and their tools are a bit easier to install and use at this time.

One point for Python.

Score: PHP 1, Python 1

Environment Management

If you build your applications entirely on containers using something like Docker, you probably don’t need to worry about environment management. So, congratulations! Move right along.

If that doesn’t describe you though, being able to segregate your application’s installed language and library versions is a critical part of staying sane as a developer.

Python, again, has a best of breed application to manage environments. Virtualenv is a system used to install multiple versions of Python side by side and switch between them quickly. Virtualenv is one of the original environment managers and has been actively maintained for more than a decade. It’s a terrific piece of software.

PHP isn’t so lucky. There is an analog for virtualenv for PHPcalled virtPHP,. but that project has been archived and is no longer actively maintained. Their own developers actually suggest using containers instead.

This is wise advice as containers have all sorts of advantages for developers and operational deployment. Unfortunately, they’re not a great fit for every environment. If your environment is one of those, PHP is at a disadvantage here.

Python scores another point.

Score: PHP 1, Python 2

Easy to Learn

Python and PHP are very similar. Both are object-oriented interpreted languages that run on a variety of operating systems. They’re both dynamically typed and have terrific IDE support. Lastly, Python and PHP both stand out in the world of syntax.

PHP requires that you prefix all variables with a $ sign, and uses the -> operator to indicate a method called on an object. Those make it stand out from other C-style languages.

Python’s syntax is dissimilar from many other languages. It disposes of curly braces and instead it embraces whitespace sensitivity.

So, which is easier to learn?

That’s tough to say.

PHP has some advantages. PHP has a double-edged sword in their array concept, which serves as something like a combination between Python’s list and dictionary data types. It’s a benefit because if you understand how to use an array, you can do a lot in PHP. However, it’s also a negative because PHP often lacks quality implementations of other more focused data types.

If you’re trying to do something that doesn’t fit into an array, using PHP means you might need to write your own data type.

In Python, that’s not the case.

Python has a wide variety of built-in data types that are ready to go right out of the box. The challenge with Python is often knowing which tool to use for the specific job that you’re doing. That’s still a challenge, but it’s usually an easier one to solve. Python does have a disadvantage that the Python 2 to Python 3 transition has not been backward compatible.

One more quick word about learning PHP: it’s an old language. That means there are a lot of outdated, and frankly bad, tutorials out there. That’s a real impediment to learning the language from scratch.

Despite that, both score in this category.

Score: PHP 2, Python 3

Application Speed

Many of the things that make web applications slow aren’t related to programming languages at all. Slow database queries bog down every programming language. Relying on excessive network queries or reading a lot of information from a disk will slow you down every time. That said, in most circumstances, PHP is a faster programming language than Python.

The core PHP team has done a great deal to speed up PHP, and with PHP 7, they succeeded.

That evaluation doesn’t come without caveats though. PHP famously restarts your entire application every time a web request starts. For the most part, that’s not a problem. However, it can be trouble if you’re working with an application that needs to share resources across requests.

Because PHP sets up and tears down the entire application on every request, sharing resources can be difficult. That’s not as much of a problem for Python, and in fairness, it’s something that most web applications don’t need to do.

It’s also important to remember that no matter the language, you’re not guaranteed a fast web app. If you’re building a new web application and you’re looking for the best performance, you should plug into a tool like Retrace. It’ll help you identify problem spots within your application and speed them up no matter which language you choose.

PHP gets the point here.

Score: PHP 3, Python 3

Debugging

When you’re building a new application, the most important question isn’t always what happens when things work well. Often, you need to know what happens when things break. For experienced developers, that means attaching a debugger and figuring out where your code went wrong. 

Both PHP and Python feature terrific debuggers which thousands of developers use daily. Python’s step-through debuggers integrate directly into IDEs like Visual Studio Code or PyCharm (my personal favorite). If you’re writing Python, all you have to do is push the “debug” button and you’re off to the races. 

In PHP, it’s not always quite so simple. Sometimes, debugging PHP can require a little bit of setup work first. It’s not a big deal to get a PHP debugger up and running. Anyone can do it. However, it’s good to know going in.

Debugging isn’t just for development, though. A free trial of Retrace will bring powerful error monitoring and code improvement to your production apps, too.

So, which language scores here? I would say that they tie. Both bring powerful, first-class debuggers with excellent IDE integration.

Score: PHP 4, Python 4

Documentation

For our final category, we’ll look at language documentation. When you’re diving into a new project, good documentation is critical to your success.

PHP has a robust documentation site with a unique feature. Developers can contribute comments on each documentation page. The documentation already effectively cover all of the built-in features of the language in simple, plain language. The comments can be a cherry on top that help explain complicated concepts from a different direction.

There’s one big drawback, though. Those comments stick around forever. This means that when you’re reading PHP’s documentation pages, the comments that show up first are from very old versions of the language. Sometimes, you’ll be reading a comment left on a function’s documentation page, to find out that the developers removed the behavior described three years ago. This leads to a lot of confusion, as you can imagine.

Python doesn’t have that problem, because their documentation doesn’t allow comments. Their documentation is written in a less-conversational tone. Some people find this helpful, while others have difficulty understanding. Python’s documentation is also a bit more terse, overall. 

Both these languages leverage their documentation well. However, I need to pick a winner. In this case, I say that PHP’s regularly-outdated comments are enough to keep it from scoring a point, here.

Score: PHP 4, Python 5

PHP vs Python Conclusion

Our final evaluation ends with Python holding a very slight edge over PHP. Honestly, that feels about right. Both PHP 7 and Python 3 are excellent choices for building a web application in 2020. But if I had to choose, I would pick Python.

When you’re comparing PHP vs Python, which should you choose? Well, that depends on what you need.

Do you need to share environments on the same PC? Python is almost certainly the right answer. Are there developers on your team who already know some PHP? PHP is probably your best bet! Does your application require great Unicode support? Python would be the way to go.

No matter which way you go, it’s not about PHP vs Python. The key is to get out there and get building. You can’t make a wrong decision here. Best of luck building your new application!




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Submitting Your Website to Search Engines (When You Should Do It And How)

Getting indexed on Google and other search engines is one of the most effective ways of getting free traffic to your website. But you may be wondering:

How do I submit my website to search engines?

The short answer is: it depends on the search engine. The longer answer is that there are specific steps to follow for each. Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:

But first:

Do I Need to Submit My Website to Search Engines?

Yes and no.

Search engines were not designed to rely on manual submissions. It’s just not efficient. That’s why their bots crawl the web to find websites to index.

In case you haven’t heard the term before: crawling is when search engines look for new links on websites and then “follow†these links. If a link leads to something useful (e.g. a useful website), that page is then indexed.

This means search engines are pretty good at finding new websites on their own, as long as they are linked to from somewhere on the web.

But with that being said…

Why You Should Submit Your Site to Search Engines

Here are a few reasons why you should manually submit your website to search engines:

  • Peace of mind – When it comes to SEO, it’s better to be safe than sorry. For how quick manually submitting your site is, it’s worth doing it.
  • Tell search engines about your site directly – Submitting your site via the methods below allows you to tell Google (and others) important information about your site, mostly about content updates and important changes.
  • It’s an easy improvement opportunity – By submitting your site you get access to various tools that can help improve your website. In addition, you can inform them that the content is now been updated and requires to be crawled again.

Submitting Websites to Search Engines: Getting Started

Before you get started submitting your site to search engines, here are a few things you’ll need. First, you’ll need to be able to access and edit your website.

Backend access is not necessary to submit a website to search engines, but it may be helpful if you need to add things later down the line.

For example:

With access to a site, it makes being able to add them in a lot easier.

These are key requirements for getting a site indexed. In fact, having a correct setup sitemap is one of the most important things you can do to help your site get picked up by search engines.

Don’t forget that having access to the two main search engines toolsets is needed too:

Google Search Console

Before submitting your website to Google, you’ll need to set up Search Console and verify website ownership.

To verify your website, copy the DNS TXT record and add it to your domain name provider in order to verify domain ownership.

How to verify domain ownership using DNS records

How to verify domain ownership using DNS records

Verifying your site with the DNS record is the recommended method as you can leave the DNS record forever and it doesn’t add extra code to your site.

If you don’t want to (or can’t) verify your domain this way don’t worry, there are alternative ways to verify your account.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing makes setting up Webmaster Tools very easy. If you’ve got Search Console setup already, you can actually just import your sites.

Once you’ve signed up, just hit the Import button:

Import Search Console settings into Bing

Import Search Console settings into Bing

This is an easy way to get your site into Bing Webmaster Tools.

So now you’ve got everything you need setup, it’s time to start submitting your site to all the major search engines.

Let’s start with Google.

How Do I Submit My Website to Google?

It’s pretty easy to submit websites to Google.

In fact, the only way to submit your website is by adding your sitemap to Google Search Console.

Here’s how:

1. Locate Your XML Sitemap

A sitemap is an XML file that lists all the pages on a website.

It can usually be found by going to:

YOURWEBSITE.com/sitemap.xml

If you are using WordPress to power your site and are using the Yoast SEO plugin, your sitemap will look like this:

Kinsta's sitemap

Kinsta’s sitemap

Once you’ve found your sitemap, you can move on to the next step:

2. Add Your Sitemap to Google Search Console

Open up Google Search Console and, under Index, select sitemaps.

Now, all you need to do is paste in your sitemap URL and hit submit:

Add a sitemap to Google Search Console

Add a sitemap to Google Search Console

If you have multiple sitemaps, just repeat this process until all your sitemaps are listed in the submitted section.

You will need to have added and verified your site to GSC in order to do this.

If you need more in-depth steps, we have a Search Console guide that will walk you through everything you need to know. Likewise, we also have this guide on how to submit a site to Google News if you want your site to appear there.

Quick Note About Submitting Your Site to Google News

Google News' content policies

Google News’ content policies

Publishers no longer need to submit their site to be eligible for the Google News app and website. Specifically, according to Barry Adams:

Publishers are automatically considered for Top stories or the News tab of Search.

3. Submit a Page URL to Google

What if you just want to submit an individual page to Google though? This is pretty simple too.

In Search Console, go to URL inspection and paste in your page URL you want to index.

If the page isn’t indexed, you’ll see that GSC says ‘URL is not on Google’. To get it crawled, just click on Request Indexing:

Use URL inspection to request indexing

Use URL inspection to request indexing

If the page is indexed, you’ll see ‘URL is on Google’:

Indexed page in Search Console

Indexed page in Search Console

If you’ve recently updated content and want Google to recrawl the page, you can click on ‘Request Indexing’ to index those page changes.

How to Check If Your Page Is on Google?

To see if your site has been successfully submitted and indexed, just search your web address on Google. If Google has crawled and indexed your site, it will show up in the search results.

You can try copying a paragraph or two of text from your site and searching for that in “quotation marksâ€. If your page is on Google, it should come up.

Another way you could use is the search operator command “site:†in Google. Just type:

site:www.YOURWEBSITE.com

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How to perform a site search in Google

How to perform a site search in Google

Google will know only show results from the domain you’ve entered. You can use the site search operator on the homepage or internal pages of your site.

How Do I Submit My Website to Yahoo?

Ok so this is the easiest one. To get your website to show up on Yahoo… you submit your site to Bing.

That wasn’t a mistype. Submitting your website to Bing automatically submits it to Yahoo also.

So you might as well go to the next section to get your site listed on Bing:

How Do I Submit My Website to Bing?

First, you need to go to Bing Webmaster Tools. You’ll need to make sure you have set it up for your site. If you need help, here’s our handy Bing WMT guide.

Just like Search Console, submitting your sitemap in Bing is simple. Just choose ‘Sitemaps’ from the menu, paste in your sitemap URL and hit Submit.

Submit XML sitemaps in Bing Webmaster Tools

Not only will this submit your site to Bing, but also to Yahoo (as they are both powered by Bings Index).

Bing URL Submissions Plugin

If your site is powered by WordPress, there’s an easier way for you to submit your content to Bing using their Bing URL Submissions plugin.

Bing URL Submissions WordPress Plugin

Bing URL Submissions WordPress Plugin

Free to use and easy to activate, the plugin will automatically submit your new or updated content directly to Bing’s search index after you’ve added your API key:

Activating the Bing URL Submissions WordPress Plugin

Activating the Bing URL Submissions WordPress Plugin

There are a few features you can play around with, such as:

  • The automatic submission feature you can toggle on and off, based on your needs.
  • Manual URL submission.
  • View recent URLs submitted through the plugin, which can be also downloaded as a handy list to keep track of.
  • The possibility to re-submit recent URLs.

How Do I Submit My Website to DuckDuckGo?

The short answer here is: you don’t.

DuckDuckGo automatically indexes the web, so you don’t need to manually submit your website to them.

In fact, it uses over 400 sources and Bing’s search results, so if you’ve followed the previous steps to submit to Bing (and Yahoo), you did all you needed to speed up indexing for your site on DuckDuckGo.

Avoid Submission Services

Getting your website listed on Google, Bing or Yahoo is free, so you should not be paying a submission service to get you listed.

Signing up for a search engine submission service is pointless. And if you are unlucky, you’ll be bombarded with spammy emails trying to sell your low-quality SEO services.

The search engines that matter provide useful resources to help as well as documented methods of getting a site submitted and successfully indexed on Google, Yahoo, and Bing anyway. You don’t need services to do this.

Additional Search Engine Submission Resources

Most search engines have specific ways of submitting web pages to their index. Here are links to the official pages for submitting your site to search engines:

In 2020, it doesn’t seem to be the case for manually submitting a website to search engines. Well, not 100% true: search engines could use some help sometimes! Check out how to submit your site to get it crawled faster! 🤖📈Click to Tweet

Summary

Google and other search engines will eventually be able to find your website, even if you don’t submit it to them manually.

Nevertheless, submitting your site using a sitemap is highly suggested and if you don’t have one properly set up, it’s worth doing it. Why? It gives search engines additional information about your site, and in return, you get extra indexing data about your site (maybe even sitelinks).

Submitting a site to search engines has enormous value for signaling search engines about content updates and changes. Forcing a new crawl allows you to speed up the process to rank for your newly-added keywords instead of the old ones, which aren’t relevant anymore.

As SEO it’s an ever-changing field, getting your site and pages indexed is the bare minimum. If you want to grow your traffic, there’s much more that needs to be done (here’s an SEO checklist to start from) but you’re on the right track now.