This week we are talking about our favorite online tools.
I have done a few posts about blogging. I am really passionate about blogging and I want to share what I have learned along the way. Let’s start with the obvious. I use WordPress. I started on blogspot but have since moved on. There are a slew of reasons I pay for my site but the number one reason is the freedom that I have with WordPress.
I host my site through Hostgator. They have stellar customer service and great (inexpensive) plans. I have three separate domains hosted by them. I wouldn’t use anything else.
I spent a lot of time searching for the right template for my blog aka theme. I have to admit that I love my theme. It wasn’t exactly user friendly at first, but now I can’t imagine my blog without it. I use Avada WP Theme for my site. It wasn’t easy to pick a theme, because there are literally thousands to choose from. I purchased Avada because it has great reviews and stellar customer service. Also, so much functionality that even after 2 years I am still finding other ways to use it.
I also rely on a lot of plug-ins with my WordPress theme. It took me a long time plug-in witch hunting, as I like to call it, to find the best plug-ins that do the most good.
♥Wordpress Plug-ins I love♥ (in alphabetical order)
- Akismet– this one is a no-brainer for stopping spam comments
- Broken Link Checker– Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.
- Comment Reply by Admins Notifier– When you reply a comment as Admin or Editor, an E-mail will send a notify to commenter.
- CommentLuv– I have to admit this plug-in has issues, it breaks a lot. I even see it not working on other people’s sites, so I know it is not just me. But it is the only way for commenters to leave a link easily on their comments.
- Foo Gallery– I needed something that would allow for better image and video gallery management within WordPress, this plug-in does everything I need it to. I can stack images perfectly, resize them to be all the same, and add links to go anywhere. I also use a few of the free extensions offered with Foo Galley.
- Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin– this plug-in adds a checkbox at the end of comments asking if you are a spammer. It seems to work well.
- P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)– this plug-in allows me to see which plug-ins are slowing down my site. It was also highly suggested when my site used too much CMP by my host.
- Polldaddy Polls & Ratings– I use this because I hate having to add code from a 3rd party when I want to add a poll. It’s free and it works. Did I mention it is free?
- Supreme Google Webfonts– Adds all currently available Google webfonts into a nice dropdown list in your visual editor. I am a little obsessed with fonts, but not very adventurous. I have tons of options with this font, and it works with my theme, so I can change all the fonts or just on the current post.
- Top Contributors– Display your top commenters/authors in a widget. I like seeing who left the most comments on my site every month.
- Ultimate Book Blogger– This has helped get those reviews organized and for formatted all the same. It was a little work at first (and it isn’t free) but it was so worth it.
- WP Super Cache– helps to cache my whole site really fast, if I have made a change and I want everyone to see it right away.
- Yoast SEO– this plu-in shows me exactly how my post/page snippet will look in search results. I can change it and fi it if needed. It also helps with keywords and SEO within my post.
I should probably also mention that I use Mozilla Firefox web browser. Everything I own has apps, why not my web browser? I love the varity of apps available there. I have all my bookmarks right a the top as a toolbar and the SEO toolbar. This toolbar has Valuate- Backlinks- Whois- Availablility- Dig PR- Pagerank- and Alexa right at my fingertips if I want to see how popular a website is.