I build and create all my niche websites using WordPress because my pages rank quickly, the interface is easy to use and there’s a ton of themes, plugins and extras available to customize my websites within minutes. Gone are the days of writing code and taking months to create websites – everything can now be done in a few hours.
WordPress as a stand alone CMS is pretty basic so I encourage you to take advantage of the plugins available.
In this article I’ll show you 5 WordPress plugins I install on all my websites.
5. Squirrly SEO
In simple terms the SEO on WordPress is adequate but nothing flash so you should install a third party SEO plugin that will help you improve and optimize your posts and pages. If your browsing online then chances are your going to see endless bloggers talking about Yoast SEO and All In One SEO.
I don’t like either and here’s why; Yoast SEO recently screwed over millions of bloggers with a recent upgrade made back in November and you only have to look at their WordPress ratings to see how to ruin your business overnight. Many people lost their meta tags and content overnight and now their businesses are destroyed. So stay away from Yoast – I like so many people used them before their melt down but thankfully none of my sites were affected.
All In One SEO is another company that has gone down hill recently since they started making changes. While they haven’t killed off people’s businesses like Yoast they aren’t my cup of tea.
This brings me to Squirrly SEO which is a small start up plugin with less than 10,000 ratings on WordPress. They have a clean interface and allow you to enter a chosen keyword and the algorithms will work their magic to show you how to better optimise your post for your chosen keyword.
They have a free and a premium option and I’d recommend sticking to the free version unless your business is thriving. We use the paid version on our site and my pages rank very quickly in Google and the level of customization is far greater than Yoast or All In One SEO.
I plan on doing an in-depth review of Squirrly in the coming months – stay tuned.
I don’t know what I would do without Thirsty Affiliates plugin these days as it makes my life so much easier. Let’s say you want to add an affiliate link to a post but you don’t want your users to see that such link is an affiliate post? You’d need to mask the domain. Previously you could do this through masking tools or simply create thousands of redirections on your hosting account. i.e. imrhys.com/offer1 etc..
With Thirsty Affiliates you can simply select a forwarding address, i.e. imrhys.com/goto or imrhys.com/go etc and then pop the affiliate link into the box and the plugin will automatically create a concealed affiliate link. You can then use the button that’s now displayed in your post pages to make any piece of text an affiliate link.
I searched high and low on my first ever niche site for other alternatives but my research kept coming back to this plugin.
I’ll be doing a feature on Thirsty Affiliates but for now checkout the reviews here and this plugin is free of charge.
Sick of the annoying spam your WordPress blog is receiving now that search engines are starting to index your website? There’s two options available to you to stop the comments spam and that’s too add a captcha code to the form or install Goodbye Captcha – a free plugin that eliminates spam-bot signups, spam comments and brute force attacks.
I tried the captcha codes many years ago and my readers got p*ssed off when they couldn’t read them or the site wouldn’t load them correctly on older browsers or tablets so I quickly removed them. I then discovered Goodbye Captcha, a plugin that installed in seconds and worked using it’s own algorithms without any other human intervention.
You can of course make changes to the application, should you wish but for the standard user (like me) the plugin has worked flawlessly for years.
Goodbye Captcha fights Brute Force attacks and eliminates spam-bots on comments, signup pages as well as login and password reset pages. At the click of a button, you can decide which forms to protect.
The plugin has only 7,000 downloads however the reviews are 99% positive – give it a try today.
Many themes these days include social sharing boxes or banners – especially if your buying premium themes and templates however if your using a free theme or template then you’ll probably be looking for ways for your visitors to share your content. Viral content is hot right now and you need to ensure your taking advantage of this.
GetSocial.io is a free plugin (there’s paid upgrade options too) that allows you to display various social media icons down the left or right side of the page. You can also add them to the start or end of posts and pages too. I tend to stick with the left side of the screen.
The boxes are available in various sizes – you can probably see them over there <<< if your on a desktop or tablet. If your on a phone they might be at the bottom or not there at all depending on the browser your using.
With no setup required – i.e. you don’t need to add any Facebook application or developer details you’ll be up and running in no time at all.
Give it a try, and the paid upgrades are worth every cent too should you go down that avenue.
Hardly reported by many other bloggers and with over 800 installs this is a fairly new application but I’ve been using it for over a year now. If your website makes money from Adsense then you should definitely consider using this plugin.
The plugin is quick to install and then allows you to upload your Adsense codes which the plugin will then readjust and post in different areas on your website. For example you can set the adsense banners to show up after the title, in the middle of posts, at the end of posts and as widgets all over the site.
Let’s say you created a short 300 word article – you could tell the plugin to not post any adsense codes, if you did a 500 word article then only post an adsense blog in the middle of the post (i.e. after 250 words) or if you created a 1200 word article you could include all the adsense blocks. You can opt to roll this out as a global policy or on a post by post basis. Cool right?
That’s not all, you can set the plugin to not post any adsense banners for XX amount of days after the post is initially published. If your trying to build your site you might not want users getting hammered with advertisements but in 14 days when your site is exploding with viral traffic you might want to enable the ads.
This is a great free plugin with a paid upgrade available however free has always worked for my websites.
If you have any other suggestions that aren’t in the top 5 of every other bloggers guide then please leave a message below and I’ll add them to the list.