Reading time 6 mins
Beyond the Books is a weekly feature hosted right here at KBK. Beyond the Books is a weekly writing prompt where I throw out a topic (mostly non-bookish), and you guys blog about it. Come back here and share the link to your blog post, and we all have fun learning about each other. For more information and future topics click here.

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)

  • Akismetthis 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.

What are your favorite online tools?

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