BloggingPro » WordPress Plugins News, plugins and themes for blogging applications Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:30:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 5 WordPress Plugins for a Mobile-Friendlier Blog Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:00:48 +0000 iStock_000016305696_Small

Google is cracking down on mobile-unfriendly sites.

The search engine sent a warning on Google Webmasters Tools to site owners who have mobile ranking issues. This new algorithm has hit the news as early as November but will take shape in the coming weeks and months.

The age of mobile has arrived and it’s only growing stronger. According to this free guide from Smart Insights, mobile devices have outgrown desktop computers in Internet usage in 2014.

These reasons should empower you to set up a mobile-friendly version of your blog.

If you have a WordPress blog that still needs to be optimized for mobile viewing, use the plugins listed below.



This free plugin offers a vast array of features to supercharge your blog. One that optimizes your blog for mobile viewing is the Mobile Theme feature.

By activating the Mobile Theme, you can either (a) show the excerpts or the full content of your blog posts on the homepage or (b) show a link at the footer of the page to the mobile-friendly version.

You can customize the header and background of your blog’s mobile version.

WP Touch

Create a beautiful mobile version of your WordPress site.

This paid plugin lets you choose from different WPtouch themes, all which loads 5x faster than a responsive blog design. WP Touch also gives you access to extensions that increase the mobile viewing experience such as Infinity Cache,  Responsive Images, Mobile Content, and more.

For a WordPress blog, you can buy a WP Touch license worth $59. If you own many blogs and website, you can order a license bundle at a higher price.

WP Mobile Detector   WordPress Mobile – WordPress Mobile Themes – WordPress Themes

For $50, you can install this plugin to customize a mobile version of your blog.  The plugin also has 10 mobile themes to choose from that fit your brand.More importantly, your mobile-friendly blog will be shown on more than 5,000 devices.

More importantly, your mobile-friendly blog will be shown on more than 5,000 devices. WP Mobile Detector will show the version that best appears on each device. It automatically formats blog content and layout to fit any screen size. The Advanced Mobile Statistics will track blog visitors and mobile bots to see how much traffic you’re drawing with your mobile theme.

WP Mobile Edition

WordPress › WP Mobile Edition « WordPress Plugins

This plugin lets you create a speedy and lightweight version of your blog without compromising its design. It will adapt to any kind of device that shows your blog. Whether the device is in vertical or horizontal position, the nTheme feature will show the correct version of the blog.

You can set up the mobile version to load in two ways: (1) once visitors go to the blog or (a) once visitors enable the mobile version from the desktop version that loads on their device.

WordPress Mobile Pack 2.0

WordPress › WordPress Mobile Pack « WordPress Plugins

The plugin’s basic version will allow you to create a customized version of your blog for mobile viewing. The Premium version will give you access to unlimited content resources, themes, and applications.

Do you know other mobile-friendly plugins for a better viewing experience of your WordPress blog?

More on mobile-friendly:

How To Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly

3 Ways To Monetize Your Mobile Loving Blog

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5 Must-Download WordPress Plugins for Lead Generation Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:00:04 +0000 Lead

WordPress is one of the most robust and flexible CMSs out there. This is because of the selection of free and paid plugins that you can choose from to achieve your business goals.

One way of using your WordPress-charged site is to increase leads. Thankfully, there are lots of helpful plugins to boost your lead generation process. This is fortunate because, “79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Source: MarketingSherpa).”

Through the many plugins available, you can have more and than one way to reach out to your potential customers and engage with them. Below are the best of the best:

Thank Me Later

thank me later

Commenting on blogs is a great way for marketers and other bloggers to build relationships online. As the blog owner, you can boost your relationship building efforts by using this plugin. Once users have commented on your blog, they will receive an automated message using the e-mail you indicated on your comment. You can edit the message they will receive so you can include links to your landing pages and sign-up forms.

Read more: 5 WordPress Design Plugins for Non-Designers

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded

subscribe to comments reloaded

Upon setting up the plugin properly, people can register to receive updates on the comments section and view comments they haven’t replied to yet. The comments will be saved on your dashboard. You can then use the database to see which blog posts they commented on the most and send them a personalized e-mail to your products or services.


MailPoet   A newsletter plugin for WordPress

If you have e-books or white papers available for download, then use this plugin to gain something in exchange to your free digital goods. Setting this up correctly, you can create a sign-up form that users will have to fill out in order to receive a link of the e-book to their e-mail. If you don’t have digital goods up for grabs, you can set up a blog newsletter instead so people can receive updates of your blog straight to their e-mails.


Leadin   Free WordPress CRM   Lead Tracking Plugin

Track your lead generation campaigns much more effectively and efficient by using this plugin. Once you have acquired leads using the tool’s pop-up feature, its dashboard will provide data on how the lead was discovered, the specific content that the lead found your site, traffic sources, and more. The plugin will also automatically find useful information about your potential customers such as social media, work history, and company info, among others, and sync to your e-mail marketing platform.


OptinMonster   Best WordPress Popup and Lead Generation Plugin

If you want irresistible opt-in forms that are easy to create and edit and won’t require you to write a line of code, then this plugin’s for you. Unlike other opt-in form plugins, this one has a smart targeting feature in which the form will appear on specific pages on your site or after users perform a specific action on your site, as well as A/B testing.

Question: Do you know any other WordPress plugins out there that can help your lead generation campaigns and increase signups? Let us know by commenting below!

More about lead generation:

WordPress-to-Lead Salesforce Plugin by Yoast

How To Link Bait Without Alienating Your Reader Base


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Most Popular WordPress SEO and Social Media Plugins Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:00:28 +0000 WordPress seo and social media plugins

Great content is the bottom line of getting – and maintaining – traffic to your blog. However, a blogger cannot ignore SEO and social media. These topics have been talked and written about over and over again, but there must be a good reason for that: they are essential to optimizing your blog and expanding your reader base.

If you’re using WordPress, like countless other bloggers and online publishers today, then you’re in luck due to the nature of the platform. Your life is made so much easier by WordPress SEO and social media plugins that developers have released for the public to take advantage of.

The great thing about these WordPress SEO and social media plugins is that you don’t even have to be an SEO expert to benefit from them. You just need to read the plugin notes, and you’ll be able to figure most of them out, and then you’re good to go.

But what WordPress SEO and social media plugins should you use on your blog?

With the proliferation of these tools, you might get overwhelmed. You might use too many and end up not benefiting at all. You may even encounter incompatibility issues, which will probably mess up your blog – at least on the back end.

BESTPLUGINS have done some of the legwork for bloggers, especially beginning ones, and compiled the best WordPress SEO and social media plugins in an infographic that will narrow down your options.

If you take a close look at the plugins presented in the infographic, you will probably recognize several of them – they’re not called the most popular for nothing, after all – but you’ll also find some that you might want to install on your blog.

From All in One SEO Pack to AddToAny to SEO Ultimate to Social Media Feather – this infographic will be useful for any blogger.

WordPress SEO and social media plugins
Source: Best WordPress Plugins

Also read:

5 WordPress Design Plugins for Non-Designers

5 WordPress Plugins I Won’t Build a Blog Without

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5 WordPress Plugins e-Commerce Sites Must Have Tue, 02 Dec 2014 04:55:43 +0000 5 WordPress Plugins e-Commerce Sites Must Have

As a retailer, you would want to do whatever possible to grow your sales and develop a customer base. For this very reason, it’s high time that you should build an e-commerce site. This is where lots of buyers make their purchases now, as 41.3% of internet users have bought products or services from online stores in 2013 and will only grow in the future.

The real challenge now, therefore, is creating your e-commerce site. Unlike building a static website, setting up an online shop is much more technical as you will have to deal with your inventory, sales funnel, order pages, and the type of analytic tool to use for monitoring visitor behavior, to name a few.

Thankfully, the process will be made much more easier when you build your e-commerce site using WordPress CMS and the plugins you can download. These allow you the capability to create attractive pages for your products just like the ones on Amazon or, manage multiple orders, provide various payment options, and make the buying process seamless for potential customers of your online store.

Below is a list of basic yet essential WordPress plugins e-commerce sites use to set up their products and services up for sale.



Image source

Arguably the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce will have everything  you need to set up your online store such as track your sales and store performance, multiple payment choices, social sharing of your sales pages, and a lot more. Setting this free plugin is fairly easy, which also has documentation to guide you through the process. Its flexibility also allows a host of apps and extensions to further put your stamp on your e-commerce site. Simply put, your online shop won’t go wrong with this powerful plugin.

Honorable mentions: WP e-Commerce, iThemes Exchange: Simple Ecommerce

Easy Digital Downloads

easy digital downloads

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If you’re selling digital products and wish to keep sales of your products clean and simple, then this plugin is for you. Easy Digital Downloads includes a promotional code system to facilitate your marketing campaigns, earnings chart, and add-ons to supercharge your sales.

PayPal File Download WordPress Plugin

paypal file download

Image source

If you find it convenient using PayPal buttons for your digital goods on sale, then you’ll love this plugin! PayPal File Download automatically sends out the digital file (PDF, ZIP, MP3, etc.) within seconds a customer makes a transaction on your site using PayPal.

Bootstrap CDN

bootstrap cdn

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As a site owner, you should make it a priority to make your site load as fast as possible to increase the chances of visitors to make a purchase from your site. This is where Bootstrap CDN comes in, which uses  global content delivery network of NetDNA to ensure that your site performs at optimum levels despite heavy traffic while consuming less bandwidth from your hosting.

Clicky by Yoast

clicky by yoast

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If you draw web analytics data from your e-commerce site using Clicky, then this plugin will make gathering data from visitors and monitoring your website performance much easier.

Question: Do you know other WordPress plugins e-commerce site owners must own? Share them with us by commenting below!

More on e-commerce:

4 Awesome Plugins To Help You Effectively Earn More From Your WordPress Blog

WordPress and eCommerce: Time to Get Serious

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5 WordPress Design Plugins for Non-Designers Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:00:21 +0000 5 WordPress Design Plugins for Non-Designers

Design skills are something that bloggers need to acquire sooner or later. Once bloggers understand that publishing high-quality posts is just part of the big picture of online marketing, then they’d naturally want to acquaint themselves with the other aspects of their blog to maximize its performance, thus helping bloggers meet their goals faster.

When talking about design, however, we’re not referring to lots of graphics and Flash on the blog, both of which bog down load time. Due to the development on how users consume data online, design is now all about usability: each design element should serve a purpose in the context of your  goals and objectives (increase traffic, sales, etc.).

More importantly, developing an attractive and fast-loading design that presents content in a clear and understandable manner won’t require bloggers to learn coding, especially if they’re using WordPress to power your blog. As a blogger, this will make the learning curve easier for you to teach you how to properly design your blog!

Below are parts of a web design that you should focus on using their respective WordPress design plugins for download.


This uppermost part of your homepage is arguably the most important component of your design. Depending on your goals for your blog, the header may include your social media buttons (to increase followers), call-to-action buttons (to bring people to your landing page), or sign-up form (to build your list).

Hello Bar

If you wish to drive more traffic to your landing page, one of the better WordPress design plugins to use is HelloBar. Upon registering for an account and setting it up on your blog, you can show an eye-catching bar on your header with customized text and link to your landing page.


Another great plugin for your header is SumoMe. The Smart Bar feature of this plugin lets you place an attractive bar on your header where people can enter their e-mail addresses. The plugin also syncs with popular  e-mail marketing tools so you can build your list on one place. You have the option to turn your sign-up form as a Scroll Box (form will appear upon reaching the bottom of the page) or List Building (form pops up on the middle of the page).

Read more: Colors, Fonts, and Layout: How Do You Get Started with Blog Design?

Page Body

With the increasing benefits of visual content, it is only logical to incorporate images and photos on your posts. All you need to do is include high-quality images relevant to the posts.


Image source

Pixabay is a WordPress plugin that lets you search for free stock images from its database. Unlike other image hosting services that require you to link back to the image owner on the post, Pixabay does not make it compulsory for you to attribute the owner for the photos you use.


Image source

To optimize your images and cut down their load time on your page, you will need to download WP This plugin compresses the images uploaded on WordPress and converts them to the smallest possible file size without compromising their quality.



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Similar with your header, this bottom portion on your web page should be used to help meet the objectives for your blog. For this, the Scroll Triggered Box is a great way to further increase your traffic at your landing pages. The box will appear once users have scrolled down the page to feature your offer. The box can also be customized to fit your blog design and help make it more appealing for your visitors.

Other WordPress design plugins to help non-designers make a better and more beautiful site? Share them by commenting below!

More on WordPress plugins:

11 Must-Have WordPress Plugins Every Modern Blogger Needs for that Competitive Edge

5 WordPress Plugins to Boost Social Media Activity

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11 Must-Have WordPress Plugins Every Modern Blogger Needs for that Competitive Edge Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:26:00 +0000 With tens of thousands of plugins in the repository, and growing, selecting the right plugins to get the job done can be confusing, especially for new bloggers. At the same time I’ve realized that once you’re seasoned and have tried and tested dozens of plugins, you’ll tend to settle with a few that will almost always get the job done right without any issues.

best wordpress plugins

While there are thousands of great plugins available, there are only a few in my opinion that have and will continue to stand the test of time as web user experience design gets more complex and users demand richer experiences. These plugins will give you great control over how you create and promote your content as well as how effective you are at interacting and getting valuable signups and input from your audience – which is what will drive your blog’s success.

Here are some powerful plugins that are guaranteed to give you that edge you’re looking for and the longevity you need.

Sumome Plugins

Sumome is actually a combination of 10 plugins that work to help you achieve everything you need to on your blog. The developer covers email marketing, lead generation, conversion and user behavior tracking, social sharing, form building and even advanced analytics that delve deeper into user behavior. They’re offering a complete package of free plugins that accomplish tasks you would normally have to pay for at that quality.

My favorite plugins in the bunch are the List Builder, Heat Maps and Content Analytics.

Content Analytics: Their Content Analytics plugin goes a step further than simply tallying user visits and time spent on site but shows you how readers are interacting with your content by showing precisely where they stop reading, how many of them complete articles and reports to show your most engaged content. Very powerful for tweaking where you place your call to action buttons and other content.


List Builder: List Builder is a super simple email signup pop-up plugin that integrates with popular email marketing services like MailChimp, GetResponse and Aweber. This is a functionality you’d have to pay for to get anything of quality. It’s simple, free, it works and helps you build your email lists quickly.


Heatmaps: Another premium functionality that is rarely found for free. The Heatmaps plugin allows you to study precisely where on your site readers are clicking and interacting so you’ll have the knowledge to improve your blog to get them clicking where you want them to.

heatmap wordpress plugin


Clef eliminates the need to use passwords to access your WordPress blog; it’s the future of security as a two-factor mobile authentication and strongly encrypted solution. Two-factor authentication is particularly more secure than average solutions since it prevents hackers from accessing your site via logging in since they’d need to have your physical mobile device to do so – an additional obstacle to hacking.

Install the plugin, install the mobile app, configure your settings and you’re ready to go. No need to use a password, simply scan the unique code presented on your login screen, use your phone’s camera to scan it, then you’re in. Check out the video below for the quick demo.

Visual Composer

Visual Composer is a premium drag and drop page builder that gives you control over the layout and design of your site without the need to be a professional web developer or designer. Build responsive pages and elements, gain control of columns, insert buttons, add complex and visually appealing animation, building practically any layout you can imagine through up to 45 features and elements.

visual composer drag and drop wordpress plugin

This plugin allows the average blogger to build elite, professional page layouts by leveraging a simple drag and drop system. With a plugin like this bloggers can get very creative with building a unique presence to truly stand out. Make your mark!

Mobile ShareBar

As you better streamline your mobile strategy, every plugin you use needs to be mobile-friendly and Mobile ShareBar is a beautiful social share option. The plugin even comes with a “Share on Whatsapp” share button for iOS; a unique feature on mobile for building reach.


Simply put, the plugin is fast loading, easy to setup and works great for mobile.


We can’t always avoid using tables, sometimes it’s the best thing you can use to present your data in a visually appealing and easily consumed format and TablePress will help you to achieve this. The plugin offers numerous functions for controlling how data is presented such as sorting features, search, coloring and more complex stuff. You can include tables in posts, pages and even widgets. An excellent plugin for inserting tables.

tablepress plugin

WordPress Social Sharing Optimization

This is an important plugin for maintaining control over how content is shared from your site to social networks. The reason this is so important is that oftentimes when readers share your content, you’ll end up with missing or inappropriate images, descriptions, image sizes and messages that don’t quite sell your content the way you’d be pleased with. WordPress Social Sharing Optimization places the control in your hands and allows control over more modern media share types like Twitter image and product cards.

WPSSO is useful for improving social engagement and clickthrough rates.


VaultPress is a premium backup service from the developers of WordPress and for only $5 per month, they’ll backup your WordPress website on a daily basis. It has been revealed that other free traditional backup plugins have some serious vulnerabilities like exposing your database passwords. It’s time to start spending on services that stand the best chance of protecting your business assets. Features such as one-click backups and restores mean you can easily revert and recover when you need to.


I found WP a useful plugin for optimizing images and decreasing the bandwidth demand from your media – basically speeding up the load time for images. It optimizes images via a lossless process effective for stripping unnecessary JPEG metadata, converts GIFs to the better performing lightweight PNG formats and stripping unused colors from indexed images and therefore reducing image sizes. A great plugin for making your image heavy pages load much faster.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

SEO by Yoast is the best free SEO plugin available in my opinion. It doesn’t promise to automatically improve rankings with witchcraft-like claims as many other plugins do but allows you to gain full control over your on-page SEO strategy and that’s what you should be concerned with. It’s a plugin bundled with features to help you cover the bases you’ll definitely forget on your own like using correct meta descriptions, social sharing tags, XML Sitemap integration, link elements and page analysis to guide your SEO efforts.

It’s a standard SEO plugin for the WordPress industry and is used by even larger enterprise websites.

These plugins are perfect for getting the most out of your WordPress site and will go a long way in extending your blog’s functionality for the current modern audience and beyond.

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5 WordPress Plugins to Boost Social Media Activity Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:00:15 +0000 5 WordPress Plugins To Boost Social Media Activity

Image from Pixabay

WordPress is one of the most widely-used content management systems (CMS) for a good reason: it can be easily tweaked and customized to your liking. However, the flexibility of WordPress to accommodate different website types, from blogs to e-commerce, hinges on the WordPress plugins used to help achieve the site owner’s goals.

For webmasters who wish to increase site visitors, one way of doing this is to use WordPress plugins that allow easy sharing of site pages on social media.

Below are five of the best WordPress plugins that you should use to get more shares, as well as possibly boost your fans and followers.

SumoMe Sharing Options

SumoMe originally worked to increase your e-mail subscribers with its List Building apps. However, it has grown to include more apps to really help site owners gain more visitors to their pages.

The Image Sharer app lets visitors share pictures on the page using Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The Share app is a floating bar on the left side of the screen to make it easier for visitors to share the post on social media. The default available are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. To access other social media sites where you can share the post, click on the crown icon.

The Highlighter app lets visitors easily share quotes from the post. All they have to do is highlight the text and a pop-up menu will appear on the screen so they can share it using Facebook or Twitter.

Click To Tweet by Todaymade



Create tweetable content on your post so people can easily click and share it on Twitter. Make sure to observe the 140-character limit when writing messages to tweet using this plugin.

Evergreen Post Tweeter


Another plugin that boosts site traffic using Twitter, this lets you automatically post your website content on social media. This is ideal for webmasters who manage sites with lots of content that they want to share on social media. You can set up the types of posts and under which category, allowing you full customization of the automatic tweets that will be published on your Twitter account.



If you have e-books and white papers available for download on your site, then you ought to use this plugin. Once installed, instead of people downloading the resources off your site for free, they will have to share the page on your site using their social media first before the resources become available for download.

WP Sharely

wp sharely


This is similar to wpLike2Get, but instead of downloadable content, it works on the actual content on the page . If you want to entice readers to read your post, you can stop at the first few paragraphs and “gate” the rest of the content using this WordPress plugin. This will encourage them to share the post in order to read the entire article. Keep in mind that this is a paid plugin.

Did we miss out on any other WordPress plugins that help site owners increase their social media activity? Let us know by commenting below!

More about WordPress plugins:

10 Free WordPress Plugins Every Blog Needs and 5 Bonus Plugins

WordPress Launches Plugin Compatibility Beta

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WP Couch Mode Plugin: For Readers Who Want to Focus on Content Fri, 12 Sep 2014 12:30:01 +0000 We may be bloggers, content providers, writers, or whatever you want to call yourself, but at the end of the day, we are also consumers. If you think about it, when we’re not writing, we’re reading. Or playing games, in some cases. ;)

WP Couch Mode


Some that reading time may be because we want to be at the top of our game when it comes to the niche we write about. Some of the time may be reading for the simple pleasure of reading.

Whatever the reason, it cannot be denied that reading is an inherent part of the Internet experience. And that’s where the highlighting of content comes into the picture.

For many people, they just want to see the content of the article or blog post. They want to see the text, the words, and perhaps the accompanying images.

Distraction-free reading.

That’s why posts like this on Medium appeal to readers. The content is the focus of the post, and while photos break up the text, there is flow that still highlights what is to be read without distraction.

Understandably, however, some sites need to have ads and other elements that may distract the reader from the content.

What can you do to balance these needs out?

Enter the WP Couch Mode Plugin.

This plugin gives the reader the option to forego all the ads and other distracting elements that may be found in your site. What it does, basically, is to add a link – which is customizable – to content. When this link is clicked, a lightbox pops up, showing only the content.

Developer Ritesh Vatwani has incorporated several options, as seen in the screenshot below.

WP Couch Mode

When the reader chooses “Read Mode”, this is what he will see.

WP Couch Mode

Obviously, that distraction-free mode is more appealing to readers. Unless you’re one to actively seek ads for some reason.

For a more in-depth analysis of how WP Couch Mode performs click here.

If you want to download the plugin or check out the developer details, click here.

Here are more WordPress tips for you:

Export Google Docs to WP Posts with “Send to WordPress” Chrome Extension

6 WordPress Plugins That Make Migration & Mass Content Creation Simple

15 Functional e-Commerce WordPress Blogging Themes to Start Raking in the Sales

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6 WordPress Plugins That Make Migration & Mass Content Creation Simple Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:00:34 +0000 There comes a time in every online marketer or website owner’s life when it’s time to move your website and find a new home. Whether it’s because of a poor performing  web host provider or rebranding to a new domain name. Migration can be a pain and without the right tools and knowledge it’s very easy to lose data and create a situation where your site is down and unavailable for days. Losing you potential revenue and visitors.

wordpress themes

Migration is oftentimes technical requiring you to backup and restore databases, move images and other files into their correct directory structures, move and reactivate plugins and widgets. It’s heavy stuff, especially if you have a site rich with thousands of articles and images.

Thankfully, WordPress makes things much easier by allowing the creation of plugins that help take the hassle out of moving. Helping to ensure data integrity and as little downtime as possible.

Here we go:

Widget Importer & Exporter

The Widget Importer and Exporter is nifty little plugin that you can use to create export files containing your widgets that can be shared and uploaded to other WordPress sites. Widget creation has always been a very common problem as usually when WordPress sites are migrated, it’s required to manual copy and create every single widget item individually.

It has a variety of practical applications. It can aid in the process of moving widgets from one site to another and also makes life easier if any of your themes or settings change that could potentially mess up your plugin settings (with Widget Importer & Exporter, you can re-import them en masse and save time). The plugin also takes conflicting and non-existing sidebars into consideration and handles them very well.

Widget Importer and Exporter does exactly what it claims to do and receives a ton of positive reviews.

All-in-One WP Migration

The All-in-One WP Migration plugin allows you to export your database, media files, plugins, and themes in one session and is multisite compatible. You can also apply unlimited find and replace operations on your database and the plugin will also fix any serialization problems that occur during find/replace operations. This is very useful for easily renaming to new domain details and any other prefixes you might want to change as part of the migration process.


It certainly is an all-in-one solution for WordPress migration and is also well accepted by the community.


If you’d like to simply make a copy of your WordPress database then WP-DBManager is an excellent tool packed with additional features to help maintain the health, integrity and security of your database and its backup files.

Although it’s not geared towards being a migration tool, it can save you in the instance of your site being hacked or for some reason becoming corrupt. It’s additional features such as automated scheduled backups, database repair and optimization can be a life saver when you need a backup most. It ensures that you have a copy of your database for restoration in case something tragic happens.

An excellent free backup tool that should accompany every WordPress installation.


Duplicator promises to migrate, backup, copy and clone any WordPress installation from one location to another. The plugin, however, is geared towards more advanced / technical WordPress users and they actually warn not to initiate any of the features without having an above average knowledge of WordPress.

With the demo below, you’ll see that the plugin offers a lot of feedback and scanning capability to help determine file and database sizes and other key info points.

A great tool for every WordPress enthusiast.

WordPress Move

WordPress Move is slightly less powerful than the other plugins I mentioned and requires a bit of customization and tweaking which includes adding FTP access credentials for your new site’s domain. You will also need to have the plugin installed and configured at the destination WordPress installation.

Though less powerful it’s still worth a mention and may prove useful for your preferences.

For Mass Content Creation:

Bulk Page Creator

If you ever need to create a multitude of pages you’re in luck. Bulk Page Creator allows you, from a single screen, to create as many pages you as like, customizing page titles and even specifying a template for content on each page.

bulk page creator

This plugin is a great time saver and is essential if you’re working with a large content site.

Have you ever used the plugins we’ve discussed? We would love your feedback on your experience in the comments below.

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Easy Steps to Add a Welcome Pop-Up Box on Your Blog Sun, 29 Jun 2014 02:56:37 +0000 Anything that pops up on the web is sure to attract attention regardless of its content. But one can be more enticed to read through the content if the pop up box appears on a site you really intend to visit.

Bloggers and publishers can do this via their WordPress site particularly through the widgetized welcome popup plugin. This tool allows a popup window to show automatically when a person visits your site.


About the Welcome Popup

The welcome popup window has many uses. It can be utilized to introduce your business or your expertise. You can use it to notify visitors about an interesting development in your business, an upcoming event or a new product. Additionally, you can use it to include a call to action or an opt-in form for your visitors.

It is also possible to edit the content using the WYSIWYG editor and shortcodes are allowed. In addition, you can set the frequency of showing it on your blog or website such as once per visit, once fore very few days or every time.

Customization of the popup window is another great advantage. This means you can adjust the window size, overlay colors, font scheme color, background image, number of widget areas, autoclose time and content. The CSS can also be edited.

How to Install the Plugin

To use this plugin in your WordPress site, you need to follow some simple and straightforward steps. Just install and activate it. Once it is activated, a menu item entitled Welcome Popup will show under the Settings section.

Click the menu Settings and Welcome Popup and choose your preferred display mode, color, size, autoclose time, number of widget areas among others.

You can then proceed with selecting the pages where you want the welcome popup to display. Choose between the “homepage and particular posts/pages” or “particular posts/pages” display mode. To assign a particular post or page, just go to the post/page editor and set the welcome popup checkbox.

If you want to add widgets in the welcome popup, you can do so by going to the Appearance section on the left column then go to Widgets. On the widgets page, drag and drop your chosen widgets into the welcome popup area.

There’s a wealth of plugins available today including the WordPress video plugin that are sure to make your blog or website more interactive. Using them is a great way to drive traffic moving forward.

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4 Powerful Free CRM Integrations & Plugins for Your WordPress Site Mon, 09 Jun 2014 23:54:08 +0000 If you’re not measuring your website or business’ performance, or keeping track of client interactions and relationships then you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. As we grow towards learning more about social and business triggers, we realize that having valuable data truly is invaluable. Regardless of whatever type of venture you’re running online. This is the reason for Client Relationship Management (CRMs) becoming so popular in recent times and although the term is new to a majority of us, the term and activities have been around since the 90’s.

CRM in word tag cloud

Essentially, CRM refers to the art of using technology to synchronize activities and data from all departments in a business to better understand and relate to clients. It’s about knowing your customers, your readers and your audience. The more you know about your prospects and clients the better your position will be for developing successful strategies to monetize. CRMs ensure that you’re well equipped to keep track of this oftentimes overwhelming data.

With all the premium names in the CRM market like Salesforce and, there are still simple, yet powerful free solutions for the average user who wants to get the ball rolling.

Thanks to the open source WordPress ecosystem, here are 4 free WordPress CRM plugins to get you started.


CiviCRM is developed specially for non-profits and civic-sector organizations for Drupal, Joomla and WordPress and is perfect for managing events, fundraisers and other types of campaigns. The developers have a closely knit community dedicated to making this software package free and robust. Regardless of its original purpose, the software is free to download by anyone with an interest in its use and building out their own tailor fit CRM solution.


It’s a powerful software package out of box and is a great way to begin storing and keeping track of clients and your business, all within your WordPress dashboard. It also comes with useful front-end functionality for accommodating membership signups and receiving contributions.

You”ll quickly discover that CiviCRM is powerful not only for your online business but also extending your offline activities and other areas of your business or community.

Click here to access CiviCRM.


Leveraging WordPress’ basic user management system, WP-CRM allows you to manage lead generation and detailed contact information. With the use of customizable forms, the plugin allows you to edit and manage contacts from within your WordPress admin. Each contact record can be categorized by contact type and has a correspondence thread, so you can keep track of all interactions.

Download WP-CRM here.


The PauPress WordPress plugin comes with all the basics you’d expect from a CRM such as basic user detail management, form creation, the ability to create custom fields, strong client organization features, reports, bulk actions and data management. The plugin blends seamlessly with the WordPress interface.


The developer version of the plugin comes with additional features such as MailChimp integration, e-commerce engine, user content submissions, membership and directory features and more. However, the basic free package is quite enough to get you started.

Download Paupress here.

WordPress Leads

The WordPress Leads plugin will probably be the most user-friendly and complete solution for the WordPress lover as it works in conjunction with WordPress Landing Pages & WordPress Calls to Action to create a powerful & free lead generation system for your website. It’s a feature packed solution that comes with everything you’ll ever need from a basic CRM.


The plugin integrates with 75 other email marketing service providers and premium CRMs, Google Analytics, offers powerful reporting and client analysis tools, track page conversions, visual form builder, lead synchronization with other systems, search functions and detailed client info. A complete all-in-one.

Download WordPress Leads here.

All the plugins reviewed come with excellent community support to help you get started with better managing client and business data.

If you haven’t already developed a system for client management, now is the time. And if WordPress is your website platform of choice then it’s now easier than ever to manage your business centrally.

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How to Add a Floating Sticky Sidebar to WordPress & Boost Conversions (Without Code) Mon, 02 Jun 2014 22:17:23 +0000 With readers growing blind to banner ads and attention spans decreasing, we need new ways to increase readership and garner more clickthroughs. Sticky elements that hover, float, slide and pop out at us do tend to have higher clickthrough rates than traditional static content. When used sparingly of course. Therefore, visual appeal and positioning play keys roles in determining how users interact with your content and other site elements. Having great content is the first step and an attractive design and layout seals the deal.

wordpress blog customization

Thankfully, it’s quite easy to integrate styles that help boost the visibility of various blog elements without the need to jump into code. Through simple yet powerful WordPress tools and editing plugins, we can accomplish great things without dabbling in too much code. One very effective element design is the floating sidebar.

The floating sidebar ensures that at least one section of your sidebar is always visible as your readers scroll down the page. Making whatever content in that position stand out whether it’s an ad, email signup box or link to more content on your site.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of this awesome WordPress plugin.

Install the Q2W3 Fixed Widget (Sticky Widget)

The Q2W3 Fixed Widget is capable of instantly transforming any widgetized sidebar element into a customizable sticky, non-intrusive  attention seeker.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, hover over Appearance, then select Fixed Widget Options. Here you’ll be presented with a set of options that most WordPress users can ignore. However, depending on your particular theme and layout, you may need to adjust margins and other properties.

floating sidebar wordpress plugin

Essentially, you’re able to tweak the options until they fit your theme perfectly.

Margin Top & Bottom: These refer to the vertical positioning of your widget

Refresh Interval: Changing this may be necessary if your theme uses dynamic content such as infinite scroll, lazy load and other javascript based elements. If you don’t have dynamic content, this can be set to zero.


The other elements usually work out of the box and are self explanatory.

The Next Step

Go to your Widgets page in WordPress admin and check the particular widget you’d like to make sticky. Hit Save and you’re done!

Click here to download the Q2W3 Fixed Widget.

Begin Focusing on Conversions

Writing with real conversions in mind as the end result is one of the keys to building a successful blog. A results-driven mindset leads to better writing, improved engagement for readers and an open mind to strategies that work.

A sticky bar is ideal for any content you need to standout and coupled with these powerful conversion optimization strategies, you’ll be well on your way to making your website or blog a greater success.

Bear in mind, however, that simplicity is always better when trying to improve clicks and conversion on your site. One main, targeted option presented to readers will far outperform a crowded page with 10 call to action buttons. More does not mean better in these scenarios and can degrade user experience. Do everything in moderation.

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A Forum May Be The Missing Link From Your Blog – 3 Powerful WP Plugins Tue, 06 May 2014 01:14:46 +0000 As you grow and develop as a blogger or writer you will need to continuously focus on how you’re going to drive traffic by providing content readers find interesting. Your ability to spark conversations and get people thinking and talking about you, your brand or commentary is what will help create relationships and build authority. Authority in search engines or in the minds of your readers is not about how much content you can create but how much value you can squeeze into every encounter.

wordpress forum plugins

As bloggers, how do we provide value for our users and readers? Your answer will depend on what your goals are and what niches you’re serving, but in our field, engaging conversations have proven to be particularly valuable. This is the reason many marketers who have ventured into the world of forum building have enjoy success beyond what they could ever imagine. Since this form of communication offers a richer, more personal and direct experience for individuals seeking answers to questions and a desire to interact.

A forum might be the missing puzzle piece in your blog marketing strategy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a forum is an automatic solution for garnering authority and traffic but it’s a tool when executed properly and with diligence, produces real results.

The Benefits of Building & Maintaining a Forum

Community Driven Free Content – Helping You to Rank Higher

There’s no doubt that building a forum is an extremely challenging task. However, the hard work pays off richly. Due to its conversational nature, most of the content will be created by the discussions and topics generated by users of the site. All this user generated content is adding value to your site in the form of search engine crawlable information. This contributes massively to how content rich your site becomes and is a pool of resources for search engines to present your site in results pages.

The value will be greater if it’s a forum that encourages users to ask questions. These questions posed on the forum will more than likely serve others using search engines to find information and answers to similar questions. Thus increasing search traffic and relevance on that particular subject.

Reader Loyalty

On the road to building authority in your niche, reader trust and loyalty will play key roles for your blog’s performance and strategy. As readers create their accounts and build their reputation and profile on your forum, it becomes more like a valid identity that needs to be maintained. An identity within a community that hopefully provides interesting topics daily that appeal to them; with new characters showing up everyday to engage. This is the type of experience you should build and once you’ve accomplished that, it doesn’t stop growing.

Greater Access to Visitors

Since forums are usually very closely-knit, whether it’s through sharing thoughts on mutual interests or combating in opposing views and critiques, you have a unique opportunity to frequently talk directly to users without being intrusive. As relationships build you’ll earn the right to market, promote and ask questions about basically anything reasonable. It offers unprecedented access.

The Great Thing About WordPress

The awesome thing about WordPress is that you do not need to build a forum website from scratch. There are quite a few free and paid plugins out there to integrate a forum easily into your current blog without drastically changing the look and feel of your existing theme. The plugins are super compatible with WordPress and are frequently maintained to ensure quality.

The 3 main ready-to-go, out of box WordPress forum plugins I recommend are:

1. bbPress

Developed by the creators of WordPress, bbPress integrates seamlessly with basically any WordPress installation. It provides a clean, familiar interface with functions for moderation, post subscriptions, topics, replies, spam filtering and customized widgets. Plus, content created within the forum is SEO-friendly.

Check out bbPress here.

2. WP Symposium

WP Symposium has a more social network feel to it with practically all the options supported by bbPress. It comes in both free and paid version and offers more advanced features such as post voting, creating forums within forums, deeper access restrictions, managing users ranks and layout customization.

A very flexible plugin if you need more options.

Download WP Symposium here.

3. AnsPress

AnPress WordPress Forum plugin

AnsPress is still in development but pretty useful nonetheless. It’s not your typical forum presentation but leans towards a questions and answers format similar to This plugin requires very little modification as the out of box look perfectly suits the purpose. The plugin’s features are not quite as extensive as those above, however. Users can comment on questions and answers with voting included; and both answers and questions can be edited and flagged.

Another unique way to approach community building options for your blog.

Download AnsPress here.

A forum may certainly be the next thing you should try to give your blog’s brand a boost. Bear in mind that you will need to execute this new venture with a well thought out marketing plan of action. It’s not a set and forget scheme, but will require your complete investment of time and patience. That thought shouldn’t be strange since that’s how the greatest communities are built, not by accident.

Do you have any experience with forum community building? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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The Ultimate Resource Guide for New WordPress Bloggers in 2014 Mon, 28 Apr 2014 23:34:51 +0000 Thinking of launching a WordPress blog/site? Or maybe you’ve grown tired of your existing blog after learning that you’ve been doing it all wrong? It’s not too late to start or restart. Blogging and internet marketing in general to achieve real results is getting more challenging by the day but at the same time there are definite methods and routes to take to achieve success.

wordpress bloggers

In this fast paced blogging race there’s no time to reinvent the wheel and learn everything on your own from scratch but there exists a vast pool of resources made available from those who have traveled the long hard journey and persevered. Trying to find the perfect marketing model, best WordPress themes and tried and proven SEO techniques can be daunting. So I’ve decided to share some of my experiences developing websites and building blogs to make your journey more seamless and rewarding.

Running a successful WordPress blog requires a dedicated approach to quality, persistence and patience when working towards genuine and profitable results. Here are key resources every blogger will need to build a solid and secure foundation for a successful online business. These plugins, tools and resources are tried and tested over the years so I can definitely vouch for them.

Email Marketing

In your overall marketing strategy there needs to be a way for you to develop lasting relationships with site visitors beyond your blog articles. Email list building is a powerful way to accomplish this, which enables you to keep in touch with subscribers on a more regular basis. An opportunity for you to build trust through powerful relationships.

GetResponse is one of the most powerful email marketing solutions you’ll find on the market and a tool like this is vital for your list building. Forget about sending individual emails via your personal email accounts. Their software allows you to create professional campaigns with statistics and template creation. Their Learning Center is also a useful resource to get started on setting up a mailing list and how to market to your acquired audience. In addition, they have a useful WordPress plugin to integrate a subscription form on your blog that links directly to your GetResponse account. Certainly powerful.

Building relationships will be vital for your long-term blogging success.

WordPress Themes

The main things to take note of when choosing your WordPress theme are:Responsive wordpress themes

  1. Is it mobile-friendly and responsive?
  2. Does the design make sense and places content as priority?
  3. Is it from a reliable source?
  4. Is it customizable with a user-friendly admin panel?

These are important qualities to consider when choosing a theme, whether it’s a free theme or paid. I particularly love WordPress themes on the Themeforest marketplace and for free themes, I encourage you to try WP Explorer.

The Technical Stuff

Web Hosting & Domain Registration

Finding the right web host for a self hosted WordPress site is quite challenging as there are so many skewed reviews and false claims geared towards making the respective hosting provider look great. Even when their service is frankly, poor and debilitating. I’ve used about 7 different web hosts in the past before settling with the perfect ones that simply work.

Don’t spend hours searching, here are the top performing web hosts for your WordPress blog:

For lower budget and moderate traffic: HostGator & Bluehost – Both starting at around $5 per month, depending on your plan.

For higher end services with the ability to scale for huge spikes in traffic and resource demands, then WP Engine is perfect. Their package starts at $29 per month. More expensive but is highly recommended if you’ve managed to build a very busy blog with high user resource demands.

You won’t go wrong with these options.

Vital WordPress Plugins to Install

Here are some powerful free plugins to install to get you going with security, SEO and social sharing:

WP DB Manager – I can’t stress enough the importance of having backups to secure your content. This plugin automatically backups up your database and will even email you a copy of your database files on a regular schedule.

SEO by Yoast – This is probably the only SEO plugin you’ll ever need. Forget about plugins that claim to automatically boost your rankings. Magically! Those statements are ridiculously untrue and you’ll be wasting time and money. This plugin allows you to create important sitemaps, assign title and description meta data and many more SEO related functions for perfect on-site optimization.

Login Lockdown – Login lockdown blocks users from accessing your admin dashboard once they’ve repeatedly incorrectly attempted to login to your site. This is the typical profile of a brute force hack.

Flare Social Share Icons – This is a beautiful set of floating social sharing icons to complement your WordPress theme. You need a method for your content to be shared and this is one of the most elegant plugins available for free.

There are definitely more plugins out there to try depending on what you want to accomplish but installing these will ensure you’re not wasting time on the basics.

Google Tools

Google Analytics – This allows you to track all traffic coming to your site. This is vital for studying your visitor behavior to determine your marketing strategies that work.

Google Webmaster Tools – A free and powerful SEO tool that most webmasters under utilize and end up paying for services that this tool offers for free. Integrating this tool will allow you to track links to your site, revise your linking profile, get your websites indexed by Google faster and many other tools that affect the health and performance of your website in search. A must have.

Keyword Planner – This is the Google Adwords keyword tool that advertisers use to determine which keywords to target for their search advertising campaigns. Although this is targeted to advertisers, the keyword data provided will help you to better understand what people are searching for and the volumes and value of the different phrases on the market. Use this to help steer your site’s content toward relevant and regularly searched keyword terms.

More SEO Resources & Which to Trust

Everybody these days seem to be an expert on SEO. However, there’s some advice that will potentially destroy your site’s reputation in search engines in the long-term. Here are the only SEO resources you’ll need to launch the first leg of your blogging journey:

Google’s Webmaster Tools Youtube Channel – Look for Matt Cutts’ series of videos where he answers question posed by users throughout the global web community. Chances are some of the questions you have will be answered here, saving you a lot of time.

Check out this video with Matts Cutts addressing WordPress and best practices at Word Camp 2009. It’s an old video but still relevant and useful nonetheless.

The Quicksprout University – The online guide was created by Neil Patel, who is a proven white-hat SEO expert with real experiences that helped many major brands improve their rankings in search engines. Neil is a huge advocate for safe and authentic techniques that yield real results in the long-term that last. He debunks the hype and shares what really works for websites and businesses. It’s a lot of content and is worth approaching like a study.

Any resources on the web that claim to be able to show you how to rank overnight without much effort should be avoided. Note also, that in many cases these techniques work but in due time Google’s algorithms will notice the site’s profile and will downgrade the its ranking or even blacklist. Black hat is not a long-term strategy for blogs looking for reputable and long-term success.


Social Media & Marketing

Social media is another powerful tool when it comes to building relationships. I know many new bloggers are asking how can I get 1,000 followers or how can I create a respected voice that will lead to sales and income? It begins with one reader or user at a time. Do not think about trying to acquire 1,000 fans or followers. Instead, think about how you intend to create genuine relationships. The numbers are irrelevant and your focus on that superficial metric will not yield maximum results. Remember, we’re thinking long-term and your energy needs to be directed to providing genuine experiences for all. So as you engage users on social networks, be of service to those you come in contact with, share and engage in useful conversation. The opportunities will come to talk about your brand and website, that just should never be your primary goal. You’re not a traditional salesman.

Building your profile in these communities  will yield excellent results for you. A presence on 100 different social sites will not make a bigger splash but instead drive you thin. As a new blogger, target and focus only on a few networks and make those few count in a big way.

The tool to use here is Hootsuite which allows you to seamlessly manage 5 social media accounts from a neat interface along with a few other useful tools for bloggers. Thus eliminating the need to be switching screens and logins. A powerful time saver.

The networks I recommend for new bloggers are mainly Twitter, Google +, Triberr, LinkedIn & Facebook. The list order is intentional. Every follower, user and connection is important and worth engaging at some level. That’s how you’ll begin to build your reputation.

Your First Blogging Book to Read

The first book on blogging I’ll encourage you to start reading is Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. His book takes readers through the practical steps of running and marketing a blog. It’s a guide / workbook that gets you working on the techniques that actually yield results in daily bite size chunks. It’s super easy to read and is powerful for both seasoned and new bloggers. The book simply gets you working and helps to mold your habits to that of success. This book will change your blogging life and set you on the right track.

Other Trends & Concepts to Watch

Bear in mind that the blogging landscape is always changing and you will always need to be on the lookout for where attention is shifting and how networks are expanding and reaching more people. Here are 3 vital concepts that will benefit you to keep an eye on and begin preparing for a revolution.

Video Blogging – As more users consume content via sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, you will need to position yourself to take advantage of this audience and begin producing your content through this medium. Video is much easier to consume.

Social Signals & SEO – Basically, the more your content is shared, mentioned, linked and bookmarked, it gives the impression to search engines that your content is useful, relevant and share-worthy. That’s the type of content that gets prioritized in search engines. Therefore your social media strategy cannot be ignored.

Content Marketing – Content marketing is changing and the old techniques and key performance indicators are falling away. The perfect content strategy will make a huge difference a year from now. Catch up with Contently’s Content Strategists blog as they share the content marketing strategies that work while giving real statistics and insights into proven data.

Hopefully, this guide has helped to shed some light on how to approach your blogging journey. Remember to take it all one step at a time and I can confidently say that these resources are all you’ll need to get the ball rolling towards making a huge, positive impact in the blogosphere.

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5 Steps To Easily Create Successful WordPress Landing Pages Thu, 17 Apr 2014 01:24:33 +0000 wordpress landing pages
A successful landing page can make or break a product. Poorly crafted landing pages will drive visitors away, while well done landing pages will entice them to learn more and hopefully become a paying customer! In this post I’m going to show you how to use the new FastLine Page Builder plugin to easily bring your landing page ideas to reality within your WordPress powered website.

Before you get your hands dirty, you’ll need to do some homework. After all, it’s not about the tools you use, but the content and message you are trying to convey. With that said, let’s get inspired.

1. Getting Inspired

Throughout the years, I’ve found that it’s a heck of a lot easier to come up with ideas by looking at what others have done than staring at a blank page. The internet is a vast landscape that offers many different avenues for finding inspiration, with the most ubiquitous being a Google search. Just pop in some terms that are relevant to what you’re trying to create and have a look at what others have been up to.

No matter where you like to look on the internet (or in print if you fancy that) for inspiration, get out there and start throwing some ideas around in your head. Once you feel confident in moving forward with an idea, you’re ready to start planning out your content.

2. Plan Your Content

Before you start thinking about layout, you’ll need to put some thought into the content for your new landing page. I don’t recommend worrying too much about making it perfect at this point, that will come later. Instead, I typically create an outline of what I want to say on the page starting with the main hero/headline and work my way down to the supporting sections.

Don’t hesitate to include filler text where needed to help move the creative process along. You don’t want to get hung up trying to write the perfect sentence at this point in the process! We’ll get into fine tuning things after we have a built layout to work with.

3. Choose A Page Builder

Now that you’re inspired and have an idea of what your content will look like, let’s get building! WordPress’ default editor is fantastic for blogging, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite as well for creating custom landing pages. To achieve a custom layout without having to write code, you’re going to have to choose a page builder plugin to use.

The page builder options seem endless these days and unfortunately, many of them aren’t good enough to get the job done without a lot of headache. While the link above offers a handful of solid solutions, today I’m going to be talking about the FastLine Page Builder plugin, recently released by yours truly!

4. Create A Quick Draft

To get things moving along, try to complete the first draft of your landing page quickly. This will allow you to start seeing things visually while assessing whether your ideas are working while they come to life. You’ll see in the example below that I created in less than five minutes, things aren’t perfect, but it’s a start.
wordpress landing pages
Accomplishing this within the FastLine Page Builder is easy. Just drag the content you want in your page from the panel on the right, fill out the settings for that module and click save!

Go ahead and try out a handful of quick ideas to see what’s working for you and what’s not. Once you’re happy with your draft layout it’s time to tighten your page up and get it ready for launch!

5. Finishing Up

Once you have the structure of your layout together, it’s time to start tightening up the content. I like to start with one section at a time, fine tuning the text and images until I feel like that section is perfect or close to it. This is the step where you want to spend as much time as possible getting those things right that you waited on earlier.

After I’ve gone through everything, I typically set the page aside for a few hours, possibly a day, and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes for another round of fine tuning. At this point, I like to take a step back and ask myself if the final product conveys the message that I am trying to get across. If it does, great! If not, I’ll continue fine tuning the content until I have a page that I feel is ready for prime time.


The beauty of using a WordPress page builder plugin to create your landing pages is that you aren’t limited by technical constraints or the quotas you might encounter when using a cloud solution. Getting good at building successful landing pages takes time, but it’s a lot easier to practice when you can create as many as you would like, quickly and easily, using a tool like the FastLine Page Builder plugin.

When creating a landing page that you intend to help you sell, always remember to get inspired, focus on your content and use a tool that will make accomplishing your goals a breeze.

Why not give the FastLine Page Builder plugin and see how it makes your task easier and get results?

This post was written by Justin Busa of FastLine Media.

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6 Free WordPress Plugins to Retain Readers & Decrease Bounce Rate Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:06:57 +0000 If a majority of your readers are visiting your blog only to leave within a few seconds without ever venturing to additional pages, chances are your blog has a high bounce rate. That’s not pretty. It means that your content may not be attractive, does not effectively target the right readers or something could be technically wrong with your site that is preventing readers from seeing relevant content.

blog bounce rate

Retaining readers is the key to having profitable experiences with your blog, regardless of your niche. Therefore, whatever you’re selling, you need to capture the attention of your readers. These statistics are vital for reviewing your online business model and testing different messages that work. Google Analytics is a free tool that every blogger should be using to keep track of site visitors. If you haven’t yet created an account and started tracking, now’s the time. Your statistics tell a very honest story of how successful your blogging tactics are.

In addition to making more engaging content, reducing site load times and encouraging discussion, there are a few useful WordPress plugins that can be installed to help create that engaging experience for users. Prompting them to click often, read and buy more of your stuff.

Here we go:

1. nrelate Flyout Plugin

nrelate flyout wordpress plugin

The nrelate Flyout Plugin initiates a neat slide out panel at the bottom of your readers’ screen prompting them to click through to more content on your blog. It’s difficult to ignore as it moves in a manner that breaks the flow of the scrolling page, without being too intrusive. It captures the readers attention. Ensure your article titles are engaging enough to entice a click through though.

The plugin automatically analyzes your website to display the most related and best suited results in the fly out. The plugin is set by default to fly out at the end of the article content, presumably at the point your readers would complete reading the article.

2. Thank Me Later Plugin

thank me later wordpress plugin

Thank Me Later automatically sends your readers a customizable HTML “thank you” email once they submit a post comment. Therefore, without wasting any time, you can start engaging via email, nudging the reader to come back for more.

Use this plugin sparingly, however, since the reader did not sign up for a “newsletter” by submitting a comment. Keep the tone of the email message as a thank you note with a brief reminder to check back the site for more.

3. Comment Redirect

Comment Redirect automatically sends your first time blog readers to a page of your choice after submitting a comment. A much safer and non-intrusive method than the Thank Me Later. This page can be a highly optimized sales page, subscription page or a presentation of your most valuable content; encouraging the user to keep reading on. A very simple, yet powerful plugin to direct your readers to the content you want to push.


The Yet Another Related Posts Plugin automatically displays pages and posts related to the page your users are currently reading. Your blog should not present one instance or type of content unless you’re aggressively trying to convert for a specific service. Otherwise, as a reader completes an article, there should be an opportunity to read something else. YARRP takes care of this by presenting customizable related stories.

5. WPTouch Mobile Plugin

free wordpress mobile plugin

After analyzing your website statistics for your blog, you may notice that the majority of your readers who leave your pages without reading are mobile users. This could mean that your site isn’t presented well on mobile devices and thus your site is ignored when accessed. The WP Touch plugin serves up a beautiful mobile version of your website to all mobile users.

As over 50% of all global internet users now access the web primarily through a mobile device, it’s imperative that your site renders seamlessly for these devices. You are missing out on a great deal of traffic and potential sales by ignoring this. There’s no excuse as this plugin makes it as easy as a click of a but.

6. Dreamgrow Scroll Triggered Box

This Scroll Triggered Pop-up Box plugin comes with a feature usually found in premium, paid plugins. That’s a triggered pop-up that you can customize with any content you wish. The pop-up box is designed to be triggered based on certain events you specify such as percentage of the page scrolled by the user, reaching the end of a post or comment or other element.

This free plugin comes packed with lots of features giving you control over its design through predefined templates or your own HTML and CSS and other settings that can help the pop-up box to be as less intrusive as possible.

scroll triggered pop up wordpress plugin

Reducing Your Bounce Rate is Easier Than You Think

Your bounce rate can drastically change by implementing just a few simple changes to your blog. Many without the use of plugins and an example of which is by simply asking or requesting input from your audience. It’s time to conduct an audit of your WordPress site to determine how you can offer more to your readers and build more sustained relationships.

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5 Powerful Drag & Drop Page & Layout Builder Plugins for WordPress Mon, 24 Mar 2014 23:53:41 +0000 Gone are the days of being completely reliant on a web developer for getting the most out of your website or blog design. To make any changes that affected design and functionality, one would almost always have to consult a developer or designer to get the job done. Or maybe you’re still in that boat. With the rise in availability of free and premium WordPress themes many non-developers have been able to easily launch respectable web presences.

Wordpress Page Builder

Theme and plugin marketplaces such as Themeforest, Eleganthemes or Woothemes provide lots of quality themes to choose from with functions that seamlessly offer the average person, with a little heart, the ability to customize their website to a certain degree.

Traditionally, there’s a limit on what can be done with these premium themes and users often find themselves hitting a ceiling on how far they can go in customizing themes without the help of a developer. At some point, what you do with your theme still ends up looking similar to others who may have purchased the same theme you’re using. You still sacrifice originality.

The great news is that WordPress developers around the world are continuously working to revolutionize how non-developers work online and we now have a few powerful plugins with the power to completely overhaul any WordPress website without getting into any serious coding.

Here are 5 affordable, easy to use and powerful WordPress layout builder plugins that will place the power of a developer in your hands. They’re all you’ll ever need.

1. Visual Composer for WordPress

Visual Composer is one of the best layout builder plugins I’ve used so far as the creators are somewhat close to perfecting the art of making the design process seamless for newbies. There’s still a slight learning curve though. However, nothing too terrifying.

You’ll find this plugin on, a WordPress plugin marketplace with so many options you won’t know what to do with yourself. Visual Composer builds layouts that are responsive and mobile-ready and with over 40 beautiful content elements. It also gives users the option of embedding widgets within page and post content. Something that many other theme builders can’t get right.

The cool thing about this plugin that makes it stand-out is that it gives you the option to create your own reusable page layouts templates. Other page builders require that you start from scratch for every page you’re building. So if you have a cool layout that you want to use for multiple pages, simply save that layout design and open for use on your other pages. Big time saver! The plugin has worked with every theme I’ve used it on, which means great compatibility, and can be used with almost any post type.

Check out the video below to get a more in-depth look at its features in use.

It’s an affordable $30 at the Codecanyon marketplace. Trust me, that’s a steal for all the capabilities packed into the plugin.

Get the Visual Composer WordPress plugin here.

2. Elegant Themes Drag & Drop Page Builder

This drag and drop page builder is a great layout builder plugin that allows you to create multi-column and highly customizable layouts for your WordPress site. Its unique canvas allows you to add preset elements such as sliders, tabs, buttons, columns, icons, boxes, tabbed content and more to uniquely customize your pages.

Here’s a video to get an idea of how the plugin works:

Elegant Themes is a theme club, so their price of $89 not only gives you access to download the page builder plugin but also full access to download their database of 87 premium WordPress themes. That’s a great deal and their themes are well built.

Download their page builder plugin here.

3. Ether Content Builder

Ether is another Codecanyon marketplace plugin for the non-developer interested in creating powerful site layouts and designs. Not quite as feature rich and seamless as I would want it to be but its a pretty useful page builder nevertheless.

Give the plugin a test drive here and you’ll find their sales page here.

Free Options:

If you’re definitely on a tight budget and really need some extra customization options for your website or blog for free, then these will give you a start.

4. Zilla Shortcodes Plugin

This is a useful free WordPress plugin allowing you to add columns, buttons, toggles, alerts and tabs with the click of a button. Its not as powerful as the paid options above but will definitely give you functions and features you won’t find in your standard WordPress installation.

Download the plugin from Themezilla here.

5. Shortcodes Ultimate

Though I’ve never given this WordPress plugin a try, it seems to provide a decent set of options such as column layouts, tabs, media embeds, sliders, dividers, boasting 40+ shortcodes and responsive layouts. They have a 4.7 out of 5 star rating in the WordPress plugin repository so that should count for something.


Download and give it a try.

These options are free but bear in mind that free plugins don’t usually come with active support. If you run into any problems using them, you will basically have to rely on the WordPress community to help out.

These powerful drag and drop WordPress layout builder plugins are exactly what you’ll need to customize your blog or traditional website.

Have you spotted or used any WordPress layout builders that you absolutely love and think tops these that I’ve mentioned? Feel free to share them below in the comments.

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Plugin Review: Pippity Popup Thu, 06 Mar 2014 12:00:15 +0000 Let me get this straight from the get go: I am not a big fan of popups on web sites. I think they’re intrusive, especially if you can’t get rid of them without subscribing or responding to whatever call to action is presented.

Pippity popup

You’ll understand then, that when the idea of using a popup plugin for BloggingPro (and other Splashpress Media sites) were brought up, I was less than enthusiastic. Then again, I recognize the fact that many other big web sites are using popups – not to mention my belief in trying something at least once and seeing how it goes.

That brings us to the WordPress plugin called Pippity.

What Pippity Does

Pippity is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create popups to invite people to sign up for your newsletter. Just like any other plugin, you install it on your WordPress site, and then configure it to your satisfaction. That’s where Pippity stands out.

Advantages of Pippity and Our Own Experience

I’ve never hidden my lack of enthusiasm for popups, but Pippity offers such flexibility that you are able to tweak your popup so that it works in the “best possible way”.

What does this mean? In my book, important elements include:

  • Aesthetics – the popup has to look good and match the site’s theme
  • Customization of popup elements – being able to use custom images, choose fonts, etc.
  • Settings that will offer users as an unobstrusive experience as possible
  • Easy set up

Guess what? I was totally relieved that Pippity meets all of the above.

Setting up

If you’ve installed other WordPress plugins before, this should be a breeze. It’s basically the same process, except that you will have to connect your email newsletter service/platform to the plugin. To be honest, I was surprised to see how easy it was to do that.

Pippity Popup

We use Aweber for our newsletter service, and it was a matter of clicking the “Automagic” feature, which gives you clear instructions to connect the services. All you need is the ability to follow instructions and a little common sense.


Pippity Themes

Pippity has 12 basic designs to choose from, so that you can opt for the one that fits your site’s theme best. This is great if you don’t have a lot of time, or you don’t have enough technical knowledge to create your own theme. That leads us to another crucial point: Pippity allows you to upload your own theme.

Customization of elements

Pippity customization

Once you’ve settled on the general look of your Pippity popup,  you can then go ahead and tweak the design as much as you want. Change the font type, size, and color if you want. You can also change the colors of other elements – opacity, copy,


You know how irritating it can be when popups keep popping up no matter what you do? With Pippity, you can make sure your readers don’t have that experience. You have full control over the behavior of your popup – from how many seconds before the popup shows up to pageviews before the popup appears. The latter is important to me, because I think users should see at least one page/post before being invited to subscribe to a newsletter, don’t you? You can also choose how many days before the popup appears again, making sure you give readers time to breathe.

Our Results

Before using Pippity, what we had was this little tab on the side of the web page.

Newsletter Signup Tab

Readers have to click on the tab for the newsletter sign up form to show up.

Newsletter Signup Tab Open

It worked, sure, but we didn’t really get a lot of sign ups even though it had been there for months on end. With only a hundred or so subscribers, there really wasn’t much to lose by trying out Pippity popup, right? So tried it we did, and you might have noticed this popup showing up in recent weeks.

Pippity Popup

Believe it or not, we’ve almost quadrupled our subscribers since we’ve used Pippity, and we’re still getting sign ups every day.

This is a case of me eating my words. I may not like popups but with the right tools and proper tweaking and testing, they do work!

Do you have your own newsletter? Why not give Pippity a try?

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Back to Basics for WordPress Content Management Thu, 23 Jan 2014 13:00:15 +0000 As a WordPress developer, I love to geek out when building client sites. Finding excuses to use shortcodes, leveraging page templates & custom fields to standardize design and imagining better data structure with custom post types are part of my daily joys.


My clients however couldn’t care less. In fact, most of them don’t even understand what I did to create the customized admin interface that they assume to be “standard WordPress” anyway. All they want is something that works well and is easy to use.

That’s good news for WordPress, which a great CMS solution: all about making things work, keeping content organized and providing edit tools that are intuitive.

A few months ago, I was working on a custom WooCommerce project that sold products so complex that the FAQ page became a rather important part of the puzzle. Their old site’s FAQ page was just a bunch of answered dumped onto a page. As a result, a large part of the owner’s time was wasted responding to inquiries already answered on the website. So I searched the repository for some cool FAQ plugins to use and what I found was very interesting.

All the popular FAQ plugins, such as WP Awesome FAQ Plugin and SP responsive wp-faq plugin, were highly-involving custom post-type based solutions. The philosophy behind them is that 1 question = 1 post so that the questions can be organized by taxonomies and displayed with templates.

Custom Post Types are too involving for some cases.

There is no doubt that these plugins are well engineered and that custom post types are an amazingly fun and powerful feature to use, but they have a strong short-coming. Anyone who has committed to a custom post-type driven plugin and decides to switch to a different solution knows what I am talking about: there isn’t an easy way to keep your data if the name of the post-type is different from one plugin to another. Savvy WordPress developers can attempt to edit the database manually; but for regular users it’s a nightmare of copy-pasting.

In fact, for something like FAQs where there are many small questions and answers that just creating such a large amount of posts can be a irritatingly repetitive task. Even when that’s done, there will be extra work teaching the client to use said system and explaining its value.

There has to be another way.

That’s what I told myself when thinking of the best solution possible to keep my client’s FAQ page simple and yet easily search-able.

I pondered that one of the core features behind the success of WordPress is that it provides a standardized way to format content. All posts, taxonomies, users and settings can be exported and maintained across installs, updates and themes. This is also why HTML itself works: all browsers expect the same tags and know how to display them.

Every page has headers.

In my search for the most obvious solution possible, I realized that just about every page online that is longer than a couple paragraphs makes use of HTML header tags. They structure the page visually, making it easier to browse and skip right to the content that sparks your interest.

So why not simply index those headers?

That’s exactly what I did. I wrote up some jQuery to browse the FAQ page for headers and generate a list of index links on the fly. Upon clicking one of those links, a user’s browser will scroll straight down to the header it indexes.

Problem solved!

Combined with a contextual search form for users who aren’t blessed with knowledge of the on-page search available with modern browsers; I had created an elegant solution to simplify searching through an entire FAQ. It was so simple to implement that I was literally able to copy-paste their old FAQ page from a non-WordPress site. As for my client they will never have to worry about managing dozens of posts or manually editing a list of anchor links.

the contextual search and index of links to headers

So came the Search & Index Page Content plugin.

I have released this solution in a simple, unobtrusive plugin format. Simply sliding a widget into the sidebar and wrapping a page’s content with a shortcode will reveal the search form and headers index links… for that page only. Search & Index Page Content works for any WP 3.6+ install, as long as your post or page to index contains headers.

download Search & Index Page Content

So next time you are over-engineering a solution to a basic web design problem using WordPress, try to ask yourself: “isn’t there a simpler way?”.


Adal Bermann is a full-time WordPress developer based in San Francisco. Follow him on Google+ and at

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How to Eliminate WordPress Blog Comment Spam Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:08:45 +0000
How to Eliminate WordPress Blog Comment Spam (via

By Sven Hylten-Cavallius in Blogs & Podcasts Featured One of the most serious problems with any blogging system, including WordPress, is that the comments area is wide open to that scourge of the Internet, spammers. In this case, it’s comment spam…

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5 Useful WordPress Plugins & Methods to Make Your Website Faster Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:00:59 +0000 wordpress plugins
Got a slow website? I know how frustrating it can be to open your website only to wait 3 minutes until it fully loads. If your website garners many daily visitors, I can only imagine the sheer panic you may feel when you open your website only to see that it’s not loading at all. “How many visitors am I losing this very moment?” you may wonder. Did you know that your website conversion rate decreases by a whopping 7% for every second your website loading speed is delayed?

There could be two reasons as to why your website is always painfully slow:

–       Your website is using more resources than available (too much content)

–       Your web hosting service is terrible

All is not lost, though. There are many different WordPress plugins and tricks to make your website faster without the need to remove content or switch web hosting services (only if it’s not too bad). Let us clue you in on 5 of them:

wordpress plugins

Created by Yahoo, this plugin comes in especially useful for image-based websites. It speeds up your website by optimizing images. The plugin does it in several different ways:

–       Stripping meta data from JPEGs

–       Optimizing JPEG compression

–       Converting GIFs to indexed PNGs

–       Stripping the unused colors from indexed images

Whenever you add an image to a page or post, automatically optimizes it without you having to do anything. If you want a quick fix to your website’s slow speed, you can use the plugin to “smush” your existing images via your media library.

W3 Total Cache

wordpress plugins

Advertised as the only WordPress Performance Optimization framework that actually works, W3 Total Cache improves your website speed by compressing CSS and JavaScript in memory, caching feeds, search result, database, and objects in memory or on disk, grouping javaScript by template with embed location control, and minifying all the unnecessary codes in posts, pages, feeds, JavaScript, and CSS. In other words, W3 Total Cache does all the dirty work for you. This plugin especially comes in useful if you don’t trust yourself to get your hands dirty with coding.

According to the developers of this excellent plugin, you can “improve the user experience for your readers without having to change WordPress, your theme, your plugins, or how you produce your content.” Definitely at the top of the list of WordPress plugins.

WP Database Optimizer

wordpress plugins

You know how sometimes you need to defragment your hard drive? Well, you need to do the same with your WordPress site. It’s because your database is constantly changing and you need to clean it up. WP Database Optimizer is an excellent plugin that automatically optimizes your database on a schedule. It clears all your deleted posts and plugins out of the database.

Using a content delivery network

A content delivery network is a system of servers with multiple data centers all over the Internet that pays ISPS, carriers, and network operators to host servers with them. The sole purpose of a content delivery network is to deliver content in the fastest way possible. This comes in especially useful if you have visitors from other countries. Did you know that someone in the U.K. usually has to wait longer for your website to load than if he had been in the U.S.A.? Because most reputable content delivery networks have servers in multiple countries, visitors from all over the world will be able to access your site much quicker.

MaxCDN is a great content delivery network to use.

Tweaking your .htaccess file

If you’re confident enough to take the matter into your own hands, you can try several different manual solutions, including tweaking your .htaccess file. To do this, you need to take the following steps:

Properly cache your content by inserting the following code into your .htaccess file:

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType text/html “access plus 20 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 3 weeks”
ExpiresByType text/javascript “access plus 3 weeks”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 month”

This helps your server set decent rules for caching your content. Add an extra line for every file type you want to cache.

Compress some text files by inserting the following code into your .htaccess file:

# Compress some text file types
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/css text/xml application/x-javascript

# Deactivate compression for buggy browsers
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html

# Set header information for proxies
Header append Vary User-Agent

Feel free to tweak the code to suit your preferences. You can add more lines to compress more types of text files you want to compress. This code allows your server to decrease download time, reduce your bandwidth, and deliver content much faster.

Do you have any website performance-increasing tricks up your sleeve? If so, please share them with us!

This guest article was provided by Simon, who is working for Jangomail, a mass e-mail service provider.  You can check out more of Simon’s work at his blogs at:

Lead image via Ana Felix Garjan

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Top 10 Plugins You Should Always Install on Your WordPress Blog Wed, 07 Aug 2013 12:00:50 +0000 wordpress plugins
These best way to make the most of your blog is to produce high quality content and have the right plugins to get you to where you want to be. Lets explore the Top 10 plugins that you should install on your WordPress blog.

Yoast SEO

What – Yoast is a complete SEO tool that comes with features such as Post Title and meta description templates, RSS enhancements, Permalink clean up and many more.

Why – This is crucial for your website because you need to rank high in the search engines to get found and be seen by your target audience So the better you optimize your blog, the more visibility you will receive from the search engines.

YouAPPi Content Recommendation Plugin

What – When you’re reading through a blog about your favorite sports team or financial advice this plugin adds app recommendations at the bottom of the post that are relevant to the content on the page and to the individual engaged user.

Why – The importance of this plugin is that not only will your readers be more interested in downloading the apps suggested because they are relevant to the topic they’re reading about but it puts a little money in your pocket because YouAPPi pays publishers per download of apps.

W3 Total Cache

What – The focus of this plugin is to be your WPO or WordPress Performance Optimization tool. It helps with your user experience and the speed of your page.

Why – Because people aren’t going to stick around your blog very long if your page doesn’t load in a timely manner and the user experience is poor.

Vault Press

What – Every site needs a security system and a way to keep things backed up. That’s what Valut Press does.

Why – As a blogger you want to be able to sleep well at night knowing your amazing blog isn’t being messed with. Here’s some other security plugins for WordPress, right from the Blogging Pro blog.

Digg Digg

What – Digg Digg works hand in hand with buffer to be an all in one social spreading plugin. It allows you to display all your buttons in one place.

Why – You don’t want people to just read your latest post and say: “that was cool” and then forget about it. You need to remind them to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. so they share it with their friends.


What – Disqus is a community of communities that helps you build your community of active readers who are interested in your content. At the end of the day, this helps create stronger engagement with your readers.

Why – Well there’s not much of a point in having a blog if you aren’t trying to share content that people are going to be interested in reading.


What – Are you tired of comment spam? Then you need to get the plugin called Akismet. I know that sounds like a lame infomercial but that’s exactly what it does and it’s awesome so deal with it!

Why – People aren’t going to take your blog seriously if you’re allowing every spammy junk comment on your site. Keep it together man. It will be appreciated.

Gravity Forms

What – Well you want to include an sweet contact form into your blog but it’s way too much work to figure it out yourself so you install gravity forms and it takes care of that for you.

Why – Because you’re interested in what your readers think you should improve or have to say about your material you’re putting out. Also you want a way to be contacted by advertisers and guest posters who want to be included on your blog as well.

Facebook Subscribe

What – This allows people to like you on Facebook so they are subscribed to whatever cool stuff you post on your FB page.

Why – People want to feel and be connected. What better way than to let them connect with you on Facebook and be your “Friend”? I can’t think of a better way, can you?

Backup Buddy

What – This excellent plugin allows you to do three crucial things. Backs up all your info, restores your site if it gets hacked or broken in any way, and moves it to a new domain if you change your domain name.

Why – You never know when you’re going to need any of these features but it helps with your piece of mind knowing you have that capability whenever it comes up.

These are all handy and helpful plugins and we recommend you install all of them once your blog is up and running. Happy blogging!

Greg is a member of the youAPPi marketing team. youAPPi is a mobile application company who helps app developers grow the number of app installs through their app recommendation and discovery publisher program. To learn more about youAPPi, you can visit their blog.

Image via Blogging Keys

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Most Popular WordPress Security Plugins Tue, 06 Aug 2013 06:43:38 +0000 wordpress security
Online security is such a big issue these days. We, ourselves, have been the target of massive security attacks. Whether you have been in the same situation, or you simply want to make sure that your WordPress site is as secure as possible, here is an infographic that can help you.

Created by the guys at WPTemplate, the infographic highlights the most popular WordPress security plugins. WordPress itself works at making sure their platform is secure, but there are other plugins that you can utilize to add layers of security.

From anti-spam measures to checking existing vulnerabilities to backup – these popular WordPress security plugins should avoid potential headaches down the road.

WordPress Most Popular Security Plugins
WordPress Templates

Do you use any of these plugins? What other security plugins would you recommend for WordPress users?

Lead image via atwoodz

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Not All WordPress Caching Plugins Are the Same Wed, 05 Jun 2013 15:24:39 +0000 W3 Total Cache LogoIf you read my previous column about caching in WordPress, you know that it is incredibly important, for both the speed of your site and the health of your server, to run some kind of caching plugin on your installation.

But what’s lesser known is that you not only have a variety of caching plugins available for you on WordPress, but they aren’t all the same.

This isn’t to say that one is “better” or “worse” than another, but rather, that they have different aims, goals and purposes. A cache that is right for a friend’s site might not be right for yours and vice versa.

So how do you find which caching plugin is right for you? It starts with understanding why these plugins are different and then evaluating your needs honestly so that you’ll be able to pick the right one.

Simply put, this isn’t so much a guide to tell you which caching plugin is right or best for you, but rather, a guide to help you understand that there are options and figure out which one is the best for your situation.

Why and How Are Caching Plugins Different?

On a fundamental level, all caching plugins do the exact same thing. They are designed to make your site load faster and require fewer resources by allowing your server to offer static pages rather than having to generate a new page using PHP and MySQL for every visitor who comes to your site.

The trade off is that, while your pages will be less dynamic, meaning they won’t update as frequently, they will load faster and your site can handle more visitors. For most sites, the drawback on the tradeoff is barely noticeable.

But while all caching plugins do the same thing, they get there by dramatically different ways. Simply put, there are a lot of ways that a server can create, store and deliver a cached version of the page and how a plugin achieves the effect can have a great impact on its performance and it the actual impact it has.

For example, W3 Total Cache, by itself, has six different options for page cache settings, just one of its options. Some of the options are aimed at simplicity, some are aimed at sacrificing server resources for additional speed and some are designed for heavily customized and unusual environments.

Using a caching plugin or a caching plugin setup that’s a poor fit for your server can actually slow your site down or create more problems for you.

So, how do you choose which one is right for you? I would advise doing your own research as the plugins available are constantly changing, but your evaluation always starts with an honest look at your site and your site’s needs.

What Do You Need?

The first step to picking a caching plugin is to take a honest look at your needs. What kind of traffic levels are you seeing? How big of a threat are traffic spikes? How complex is your site? What kind of hosting do you have? Are you having any issues with slowness now?

The truth is that most blogs can get by with a relatively simple caching plugin such as Quick Cache, Lite Cache or Hyper Cache. In all of the above cases, the plugin is geared toward simplicity and toward helping the largest number of WordPress sites possible.

While you’ll still need to research which is right for you, you probably don’t need W3 Total Cache, which is meant to be more of a caching framework than a plugin. The deluge of options, many of which aren’t even available on shared servers can not only confuse but can actually open the door to poor settings that can slow a site down or overly tax a server.

For those needing more power than a basic caching plugin but less than W3 Total Cache, a system such as WP Super Cache might be a good fit as it’s a compromise between the simplicity of the basic caching plugins and the power of W3 Total Cache. However, it too may be too much if you don’t need to choose your caching type or use a content delivery network.

Generally, when choosing a caching plugin, it’s more important to choose a plugin that has the features you need and not necessarily the one with the most options. More options, while important to those who need them, are often just more problems, especially if you’re out of your depth.

So what features do you need? Your average blog with a routine updating schedule will see a significant boost with any caching system that uses disk-based caching (other alternatives are faster but generally use more memory and server resources) and either through mod_rewrite, which requires you to edit your .htaccess file, or through PHP caching.

Database caching, object caching, etc. probably aren’t necessary. In fact, Hostgator recommends you turn them off if you use W3 Total Cache. While they’re powerful tools in some situations, for most blogs with typical hosting setups they don’t add that much, if anything.

In fact, if you overtax your server with the wrong settings, it could actually go slower than without caching at all.

Bottom Line

While W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache are both great plugins and can work wonders for your site, it’s important to remember that they are not the only caching plugins out there and others might be better tuned to your server and your level of expertise.

While it’s tempting to choose the caching plugin with the most options or the longest history, if you’re going to use a fairly standard setup for your site, it’s likely best to go with a plugin that was built from the ground up around that setup and not one that includes it as one option among dozens.

Simply put, caching plugins are not magical fixes for a slow site and they can, if used improperly, create problems for your site and the decision of which to use should be weighed carefully.

However, when making that decision, don’t limit yourself to the one or two best known ones. While they are certainly well known for a reason, there are other options out there and they might be better for you.

In the end, if a different caching program can provide less stress for you and your server, it’s probably worth going with it, even if it isn’t the one everyone else seems to be using.

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Effective SEO Plugins for WordPress Wed, 16 Jan 2013 00:19:26 +0000 WordPress

Search Engine Optimization or popularly known as SEO, plays a key role in popularizing your website. If you have a WordPress blog and wish to bring some visibility to it, you don’t have to go to great lengths. There are exclusive plug-ins available to do the job for you. Organize your traffic and increase your visibility to the right audience using these tools. Here are a few effective SEO plug-ins for WordPress:

All in One SEO Pack:

It is one of the most popular ones used on WordPress. You will be able to personalize all the features of your content including the title, description, individual tags, etc. It is an ideal choice for both starters and advanced users. It also has the feature to avoid duplicate content from being found on your blog. Some of the features include Google Analytics compatibility, custom post type support, default optimization of titles to adhere with search engine rules, etc.

HeadSpace 2:

If you want a multi-functionality plug-in, then this is the one to go for. It can cover assorted SEO functionalities. You get to tag your posts, create custom-made descriptions or titles which help in enhancing your page ranking. HeadSpace 2 is modular and offers module features that help you configure the blog the way you want, without the requirement of too many plug-ins

Sitemap Generator:

Sitemap Generator helps create a sitemap for your blog. This is not similar to the usual XML sitemaps available, but a genuine sitemap generator that helps you customize the page anyway you want. The key features Sitemap Generator offers are multi-level page navigation and categories or pages, supports or permalinks, content customization, the order for lists, etc. The XML sitemap generated by the plug-in is ideal for Google (which is the most used search engine).

Broken Link Character:

Broken Link Character automatically searches all your posts for broken links and sends you notifications if it finds anything. It also checks for links that don’t work and redirects them, and searches for missing images. It stops search engines from following the broken links. You can update the links directly through your plug-in instead of manually changing and updating the posts. The minute you install Broken Link Character, it starts searching for links, bookmarks and posts. The search time will depend on the amount of content you have on your blog. Based on the content it might take a few minutes to an hour. You can keep yourself updated by going to Settings and clicking on Link Checker.

SEO Friendly Images:

Not just your content, you have to optimize your images for the search engines as well. If you don’t have ALT or TITLE set for your images, SEO Friendly Images will do it automatically for you. ALT is a key to Search Engine Optimization as it helps describe the image to the search engine that is indexing your site. When a user is searching for a particular image, it plays a key role in pushing the search engine to index your image higher. Though TITLE is not s important as ALT, it is an important feature for users as they can read the title given to the image by hovering over it.

Google XML Sitemaps Generator:

Google, Yahoo, Opera, etc. are some of the most used search engines by people around the world. If you want your blog to be visible, you have to abide by the rules set by this search engine. The Google XML Sitemaps Generator helps generate particular XML sitemaps that will help your blog get indexed better on these sites. When you have a good sitemap in place, it makes the job of the crawlers to view the full layout of your site and index them, swifter. The plug-in is compatible with all the WordPress pages. It also notifies the particular search engine automatically when post a new content on your blog.

These are a few plug-ins you can consider downloading to improve the chances of your page being visible to various search engines. With these Search Engine Optimization add-ons, you have chances of getting higher rankings for your websites. Use these to bring in more traffic to your blog and popularize your page in return.

This is a guest post by Jake Anderson of, a site that offers savings and current information on att internet as well as services.

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