From Newbie to Rockstar Here Are 10 Tools to Run Your WordPress Blog Easier
In my opinion… WordPress is one of the most flexible platforms out there for building your online presence and setting your business up online.
In Fire Up Your Framework, I mention if you need to make changes to the look and feel of your WordPress site (from a branding perspective) you're a "theme" away from doing so. Or if you need to make your site more functional, adding a "plugin" will do the trick.
As a techie and WordPress user, I am always searching the web for plugins to help me manage and run my blog easier. This is a list of 10 WordPress plugins and tools that I've compiled for ya that are helping me run my site better.
I figured that they can help you too….
Why?: To setup my store
The Woocommerce plugin was definitely one of the first plugins that I installed to run the store here on the blog. I needed a way to display the items that I offer here on the blog in a neat and organized way. This is what Woocommerce offers.
Here's the neat thing about using Woocommerce:
If you use an external shopping cart solution to deliver your products (I use Thrivecart), you can integrate it with Woocommerce.
In your WordPress dashboard, click on the product that you have added to your store. Under "Product Data" choose"External/Affiliate" product, then add your links there.
#2: Yoast SEO Plugin
Why?: To optimize my blog content for the search engines
Applying search engine optimization to your blog content is a necessity…especially if you want to get organic traffic to your content. SEO (Search engine optimization) is the process of applying specific "keywords" to your blog content in certain areas to tell the search engines:
"Hey Mr. Google or Mr. Yahoo", this blog post is about _____________" and is going to help readers struggling with _________________ do x, y and z.
As an example:
Hey Mr. Google, this blog post is about using plugins and tools to run a WordPress blog easier. The content is going to give non-tech savvy WordPress users a list of plugins that I am using to run my blog easier and inspire them to use them.
See how that works?
In my personal experience, I've found that the YOAST plugin is the BEST plugin out there to use to apply keywords to your content and so this is the one that I recommend using.
I love this quote from Peter Drucker which says…."If you can't measure it, you can't improve it".
This quote emphasizes the importance of data and why it's uber imperative that you use some kind of Analytics tools to track your sites performance.
Before I started using the Google Analytics plugin from Monster Insights, I used the regular old Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.
For some reason, the other plugin was a little difficult to configure, so I started hunting for something else. That's when I stumbled on the plugin from Monster Insights. The plugin has a million + downloads and some pretty great reviews too.
So far, it's been working well for me and gives me a birdseye view of how well my content is performing.
#4: Pretty Links
Why? To change affiliate links to URL's that are easier to remember and track
Ummm all that I can say is that I wish I would have found this plugin a lot sooner than I did. Before using it my affiliate links were a hot mess. It was to the point where I would have a hard time of keeping up with what links went where.
Pretty links transformed my affiliate URLS from googly goo to links that I could remember for the affiliate products that I promote to my audience.
To give you an example, my affiliate links used to look something like this: affiliate_897423445~websitegoeshere.com.
Pretty links makes them look like this: yourchicgeek.com/.
Much easier to remember right? If you're not using this plugin…you should start doing so right away.
#5: All In One WP Security
Why? To secure my WordPress blog
Raise your hand if your blog has been hacked? Booo to the hackers out there. While WordPress is a great platform for building a site, it's not hacker proof.
Not removing the default "admin" username from your site
Not updating plugins
Running an outdated version of WordPress
Soooo my friend:
Your site will require some sort of protection. The All In One WP Security plugin is a great plugin to use for securing your site. If you're not sure about your site's security, check this plugin out right away.
#6: Ninja Forms
Why? To add a contact form to my site
Ninja Forms has been a Godsend for me peeps. I mean for realz. Before I started using this plugin on my site, I was using the Contact form 7 plugin.
Let's just say that my experience with using Contact Form 7 was less than enjoyable.
Configuring the plugin was sooo frustrating for me (even as a technical person). Secondly, I got more spammers hitting up my site than the "law should allow". So I made the decision a while ago to stop using that plugin.
That's when one of my friends mentioned that I should give the Ninja Form contact form plugin a try.
I installed it and I haven't looked back. I've noticed a huge drop in spam submissions and "Fake" bots trying to submit their information to me (Hooray for this)!
Plus, I love that there is a "recaptcha" add on that you can add to your contact form via Ninja Forms to force people to declare that they are a "human" before they submit their information to you.
#7: Table of Contents Plus
Why:? To break up longer blog posts
When I wrote my mega post on how to use Canva for visual design, I needed a way to break up the content into smaller sections. My goal was to make it easier to scan for peeps that read the post…because it is around 3,000 words or so.
I had ran across a few blog posts on the web that had a neat table of contents section in their post, but I couldn't figure out what tool they used to add it.
So I hopped on over to the WordPress directory site and ran a search for the term "table of contents…
And guess what happened:
I found the plugin that peeps were using!
Its called Table of Contents plus and me oh my when I tell you that it is a great resource for breaking up Pillar content.
If you're planning to write Pillar posts for your blog, do yourself a favor and use this plugin. You'll be glad you did.
#8: Revive Old Posts
Why? To publish older blog posts on autopilot to social media networks
If you're gonna publish content, there is no sense in sharing it a few times on social media networks then just letting it sit there.
You should use every opportunity that you can to get your content out there to the world using Evergreen content marketing and automation tools. Revive Old Post is a plugin that does just that.
A few years ago when I was at a small business seminar, one of the presenters mentioned this plugin. She stated that it was an awesome tool for publishing content to social media…and she is right on the money.
#9: Image Widget
Why? To add images with CTA's on them
Some WordPress themes have an image widget integrated with them that you can use. But most of the themes that I've used don't.
I had to do some research to find something that I could use via WordPress and that's where the Image Widget plugin came to the rescue.
Again, if you're looking for a way to dress up your blog's sidebar with images and etc, then this is a tool that you should look into using.
#10: Duplicate Page
Why? To easily duplicate pages on my site
I have quite a few landing pages built on my site via Thrive Architect (formerly Thrive Content Builder). Most of my landing pages have tripwire offers on them.
If you're not sure what a tripwire offer is, read this post. In a nutshell, a tripwire is a low dollar offer that you offer to peeps that opt in to your email list to cover your ad costs.
With running multiple tripwire focused landing pages, I needed an easier way to duplicate the landing pages because I didn't want to keep creating them from scratch.
—-> Duplicate Page came to the rescue peeps. In a matter of minutes, you can duplicate a page on your site, modify it and update it.
So yea….this plugin was an excellent find.
Need Help Implementing the Right Technology to Run Your Blog?
Choosing the right technology to run your WordPress blog (or site) can be challenging. Which plugins to use, how to install them, how to connect your email service to your blog…it can be a lot.
If you need guidance and help with setting up your WordPress blog like a champ, consider checking out Fire Up Your Framework.
What Tools Are you Using to Run Your WordPress Site Easier?
I'd love to know what are your favorite tools for managing and running your WordPress site? Drop me a line below and tell us three of your favorites that have changed the game for you (or 3 that you've discovered from this list that you are planning to use).