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12 Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs & Business Websites in 2019

Must have WordPress plugins

Wondering which are the best WordPress plugins that you could use for your WordPress website?

Plugins extend WordPress to do anything you can imagine.

You likely have many plugins on your site, but does your WordPress blog have the essential plugins?

Let me point out a few plugins that will improve your site’s user experience and make WordPress admin tasks easier.

These top WordPress plugins are extremely useful for every blogger and webmaster on the WordPress platform.

Must Have WordPress Plugins For Every WordPress Blog & Websites

Note: Some hosts have issues with certain plugins. For example, W3 Total Cache is a very useful plugin, but it performs better with VPS hosting, whereas WP super cache works well with shared hosting.

Without wasting any more time, here are the best WordPress plugins for your new blog.

1. Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin

Having an SEO plugin is essential for any WordPress blog to rank higher in search engines. This helps you to drive free traffic from search engines.

This plugin is a serious must-have for every WordPress blog out there. I have never seen any other free SEO plugin come even close to being as powerful and effective.

With this one plugin, you can cover all of your on-site and on-page SEO.

This plugin comes in free & pro versions.

 Watch the below video to learn how to set up the plugin:

<Download SEO by Yoast>

2. WP Super Cache

WP Super cache plugin

Wouldn’t it be great if your site would load super fast? 

WordPress is a memory-hogging CMS. To ensure WordPress doesn’t make your web server crash is by using a cache plugin along with powerful servers such as Bluehost or Kinsta.

There are many great WordPress cache plugins out there & WP Super Cache tops every one of them for its simplicity and effectiveness. It works great even on shared hosting!

Whenever a user browses your blog post, WordPress has to fetch that post from the WordPress database. This process needs far too many PHP calls. Imagine if 100 visitors tried visiting your blog, WordPress would be running 100x PHP calls to serve these web pages to everyone.

When you use a cache plugin, it creates a static HTML file of the web page & and allows WordPress to serve a page from this cache. This reduces the server load drastically & allows your pages to be served within a few seconds.

If you are on a shared hosting or VPS, you should be using a cache plugin.

You can download the plugin from the below link & follow the listed guide to learn about how to configure the WP Super Cache plugin.

<Download WP Super Cache>

3. Jetpack

Jetpack is a multi-option plugin which is power-packed with many features.

This plugin is made by the people behind WordPress & is one of the most well-maintained WordPress plugins you will ever encounter.

Here are a few things you will be able to do with the Jetpack WordPress plugin:

  • Add a contact form.
  • Track page views & search queries with powerful analytics.
  • Monitor downtime and get notified when your site is down.
  • Prevent hackers from brute forcing your blog’s login page.
  • Provide social sharing buttons to let your reader share your blog posts.
  • Auto-publicize your blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus after you publish any blog post.
  • Show related posts to increase engagement & lower down bounce rate.
  • Provide subscription options so that users can subscribe to your blog updates.
  • Create a sitemap. However, I recommend you use the sitemap feature of Yoast SEO.
  • Take daily backups of your blog using VaultPress
  • Get a free CDN with Photon.

There are many more things that you will get with Jetpack.

Once you start using Jetpack, you can ditch many other plugins from your blog & lower down the total number of used plugins.

<Download Jetpack plugin>

Here are a few guides & tutorials to learn more about the Jetpack plugin:

4. Akismet

Free your blog from comment spam!

Akismet WordPress Plugin

WordPress comment spam is something that you will face from day one.

When you start a WordPress blog and you get some cheesy line in the comments, you should not get excited. It is likely a spam comment saying something like the following:

  • “I love your blog and you’ve got excellent writing style.”
  • “Your writing style is excellent and I have subscribed to your blog.”
  • “Wow! This is so informative!”

Check the URL and you will realize that it’s leading to some spammy affiliate site.

Akismet is an official WordPress plugin from Automattic to prevent spam comments in WordPress.

It is the first plugin that you should install on any new blog. Your new blog will have the WordPress commenting feature, and if you don’t use this plugin, your blog will be filled up by spammers. The spammers only want to throw their links on your articles and don’t want to join the discussion.

This plugin will automatically move those comments that it considers spam into the trash can (deleting them after a select amount of time).

It is a must-have.

 

You need to grab a WordPress.com API, which you can get by creating a free profile on WordPress.com.

<Download Akismet>

5. OneSignals

This is a unique plugin for driving more traffic to your blog. OneSignals adds a new way for your readers to subscribe to your blog. It adds web push technology, and readers using Chrome, Safari, or Firefox browsers will get a notification to subscribe to your blog updates.

After that, whenever you publish a new blog post, your subscriber will get push notifications alerting them that there is a new post. You can also send manual push notifications to drive traffic to any specific blog post, landing pages or even an advertisers site.

<Download OneSignals>

Note: Here at ShoutMeLoud we use a paid tool called PushEngage. It offers better features, but it’s not free like OneSignals.

6. Social Snap

Social bookmarking has become a major ranking factor for SEO.

One rule of thumb for getting more shares is placing your social sharing buttons in prominent places. When readers see these options at the right time, they’re more likely to share your article.

SocialSnap is by far the top social media sharing plugin. It lets you add sharing buttons on both your desktop and mobile sites.

It supports all modern platforms like:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Pinterest (direct on the image)
  • Reddit
  • …and many more

<Download Social Snap>

7. Contact Form 7

When you search for contact form plugins, you will be bombarded with many options.

There are many premium ones (like Gravity), but Contact Form 7 is the simplest plugin to configure.

It’s also useful because it shows things like referral source which is very useful for knowing how your visitor navigated through your site before using the contact form.

One great thing about Contact Form 7 is the ability to customize it according to your needs. The form can be created, and every entry from it will be sent to your email.

You can also create multiple forms with multiple tables.

<Download Contact Form 7>

Note: If you are using the Jetpack plugin, you need not to use this plugin. You can add a contact form using Jetpack.

8. WordFence Plugin

Now it’s time to secure your WordPress blog.

There are many security-related WordPress plugins out there & you can use any one of them.

However, WordFence is one of the top security plugins that can ensure your blog stays safe from hackers.

The features of this plugin are overwhelming, but essentially, this plugin ensures your blog doesn’t get hacked.

They roll out updates every now and then to tackle the latest hacking & cracking techniques.

<Download WordFence Plugin>

9. No Self Pings

I have seen numerous lists of useful WordPress plugins on the web & it is surprising that no one has listed the No Self Pings plugin.

This simple plugin saves you from a lot of headaches.

When you link to any post from any other post on your blog, it sends a pingback. You don’t need such pingbacks & you sill have to manually delete them. With this plugin, your blog will stop sending pingbacks from the blog itself.

This is a plug & play plugin without any extra configuration needed.

<Download No Self Pings Plugin>

10. Easy Affiliate Links

This is a free plugin for WordPress which lets you manage all of your affiliate links.

You can read all about this plugin here.

Easy Affiliate Links helps to shorten and mask an awkward looking URL. It also helps in redirecting readers to your favorite affiliate programs.

For affiliate marketers, this plugin, along with SEO Smart Links, will add a lot of value to your site.

<Download Easy Affiliate Links>

11. OptinMonster

OptinMonster WordPress plugin

Can you think of a blog without an email list?

Well, OptinMonster is one great plugin that helps you capture emails.

This plugin offers many advanced features such as A/B testing, geolocation targeting, conditional pop-ups & even email subscription forms for mobile sites.

<Download OptinMonster>

12. Broken Link Checker

Broken links are dead ends for search engines & bad for your website’s SEO.

Broken Link Checker is a free plugin that continuously scans your blog for broken links & allows you to fix them with one click.

This plugin also avoids sending pings to your own site when you publish posts with links to your own posts.

I have been using this plugin since the inception of ShoutMeLoud & it’s something every WordPress blog should use.

I have written this guide on how to use the Broken Link Checker plugin. Do take a look.

<Download broken link checker Plugin>

These 10 plugins are not only very useful, but they are one of the top choices for any kind of WordPress website.

They will add another layer of functionality and add features to your WordPress blog that will enhance both the user and the admin experience.

Do you know of any more must have or basic WordPress plugins which should be on every WordPress blog? Let us know via the comments.

Don’t forget to share this list with others on Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp!

Here are a few hand-picked guides for you to read next:

12 Best WordPress Plugins For Blogs & Business Websites in 2019 is a post from ShoutMeLoud – Shouters Who Inspires

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7 Brutally Harsh Truths Of Becoming A First Time Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship seems to be the “in thing” these days. With so many people flaunting private jets, laptops on beaches, and briefcases of money, I wanted to let you know it’s not always perfect.

I want to start by saying this is the best we’ve ever had it. Gary Vee talks about this all the time. We have opportunities galore thanks to the internet, the gig economy, and low costs to start an online business.

Whether you start with a side hustle or build a company, there are some universal rules that will help you succeed.

In 2017 I left my six-figure job to turn my passion for writing into a full-time online business and writing career. I have learned some valuable lessons in my journey and want to share with you to help you speed up success.

7 Brutally Harsh Truths Of Entrepreneurship

Money Isn’t Your Metric for Success | First Time Entrepreneur

Like Tony Robbins always says, “Progress equals happiness.” I found out quickly that money doesn’t just land in your lap when building an online business, you have to work for it.

It’s easy to get frustrated in the beginning if your only benchmark for success is money. Instead, make it about progress and learning, not just income.

Growing a business is no easy task. You have to learn new skills, meet new people, and constantly force yourself outside your comfort zone.

While you want to be earning six figures per year, it’s important to understand that it’s a process. I had not anticipated how difficult it would be but have learned to enjoy the process and learning more than the monetary results (for now).   

Success Is Never Overnight | First Time Entrepreneur

As billionaire entrepreneur, Mark Cuban said, “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right one time and then people can call you an overnight success.”

Mark Cuban knows all about being called an “overnight success.” After a long road of “failures”, he was able to make it big and finally sell his first company to earn millions overnight. While technically he became a millionaire overnight, the journey took years of sacrifice and unending hard work.

He slept on floors, shared apartments with five roommates, and lost friendships on his path to success. While Instagram makes it seem easy and filled with jet skis, private jets, and an easy life, it’s just not the case.

It’s almost certainly going to take longer than you think and twice as much work. But if you love what you do, then it’s possible. Any great entrepreneur has to overcome an insane amount of adversity to get “overnight success.”

Hard Work Isn’t Optional | First Time Entrepreneur

Hard work is always required. If not, everyone would be an entrepreneur.

As Gary Vee points out in this video, success is years and years of hard work for anyone. Even though Lebron James became a national phenomenon at 18, he had been practicing hard for over a decade. Even Justin Bieber seemed to have made it early in life but he started singing at six years old.

Don’t kid yourself, if you want something great you have to work for it.

Entrepreneurship Is Emotionally Draining | First Time Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of emotions. Good moments can quickly be replaced by panic, anxiety, and loneliness. And it’s so easy to feel like it will last forever. But remember, it’s only temporary.

In reality, you can change your life and business at any time. One new blog post or Youtube video can give you an idea that can change your life forever. All it takes one is blog post, article, or Youtube video to go viral.

Instead of feeling hopeless and lost, spend time putting new information in your brain so you can produce more information out. 

People Will Doubt You | First Time Entrepreneur

If you’re putting yourself out there and trying to start a business, I applaud you. It’s a bold move. Some people will fully embrace your decision but a lot of people won’t get it. And they’ll probably let you know about it.

It’s almost inevitable that friends and family will try and talk you out of it and want you to play it safe. People will doubt you and old friends might drift away.

But if you want it bad, you have to block out the noise and stay the course.

Give Up on The Instagram Lifestyle: 7 Brutally Harsh Truths of Becoming an Entreprenuer to be successful you must believe in yourself when no one else does. @FEARLESSMOTIVATIONOFFICIAL business money success entrepreneur new start finance wealth Gary vee Vaynerchuk

Work-Life Balance is a Myth | First Time Entrepreneur

As Barbara Corcoran, an investor in Shark Tank said, “Stop striving for work-life balance, it just doesn’t exist.” If you have a big vision, give up up on a work-life balance… at least in the beginning. Starting any business requires as much attention as a newborn child.

Quit trying to balance everything and have tough conversations with people in your inner circle. Let friends and family know that your schedule might change in order for you to become successful.

Comparing Yourself to Others is a Waste of Time | First Time Entrepreneur

It took me 30 years to realize that comparing yourself to anyone else is a massive waste of time. The only person to ever compare yourself to is your previous self. Track your own metrics and only compare your results to your past.

One of my mentors, Benjamin Hardy, said to only think of the gain, not the gap. Meaning, when you want to see how you’re doing, only look backward, not forwards. By looking back and seeing how far you’ve come is much more empowering than looking ahead. Because the target is always moving ahead, making it feel like you’ll never make it.

Remember, who cares if someone’s business is making more money or has a bigger social media following than yours. Everyone starts out differently and no two people or businesses start in the same place.

Final Thoughts | First Time Entrepreneur

At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is always a gamble. But if you believe in yourself and in your vision you can make it happen. It just probably won’t look exactly how you see it all in the beginning.

You might have to pivot, shift, and learn how to become relentless to succeed. But if you want it bad enough, I’m sure you can do it too.

The post 7 Brutally Harsh Truths Of Becoming A First Time Entrepreneur appeared first on Fearless Motivation – Motivational Videos & Music.

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An Overview Of Ahrefs Site Audit Features: Things You Can Fix

Ahrefs Site Audit Features

A site audit is one of the fastest ways to find major SEO concerns on a website. Most of the site audit tools require you to add a domain name, and it crawls your website just like Google does to give you suggestions that you can implement to improve your site’s overall SEO.

In the past, I have talked about SEMRUSH’s site audit feature. Today we will talk about Ahrefs’s site audit feature. In case if you have not used either of the two, you should definitely try it. Just by using these tools you will be able to learn more about SEO quickly.

If you already have an account with either, you should take advantage of their trial and test it out yourself. I recommend you to sign up for one of the two at a time to make most out of it.

  • Sign up for SEMRUSH (14 days trial)
  • Sign up for Ahrefs (7 days trial)

Ahrefs Site audit features and how to use it:

  • Login to your Ahrefs account, and click on Site audit at the top to get started.
  • Click on new projects and add the domain name you want to audit. You can use it for your domain as well as your competitor’s.
  • It’s a good idea to check out their help video to have a better understanding of all the feature (I have marked the help video link with an arrow in the below screenshot).

Scope and seeds

Verify ownership:

If it’s your domain, you should verify ownership using any of the listed methods. This will speed up the crawling and a recommended step if you are crawling your website.

Ownership Verification

For unverified domains, Crawl speed is limited to 1 request per 2 sec.

Crawl settings:

Crawl settings

You can use the default feature, but it’s a good idea to change the settings like executing Javascript, Max number of internal pages and others depending upon the kind of website you have.

Once you have are with all these settings, its time to run the first crawl. Click on start project and Ahrefs will start working its magic.

Ahrefs Crawl Log

Depending on the size of the website and your settings, it could take a few hours or days to complete the crawling. Once it’s done, you will be able to explore your crawled data and take necessary actions.

Let’s jump right into it.

Click on projects again and click on the status column of the project that you wish to see the data for.

Ahrefs Projects

 

This will take you to the data overview page which will look something like this:

Ahrefs Overview

 

Depending upon the segment of technical SEO you would like to fix first, you can start exploring the options. I was not happy with the performance report as I felt it was not accurate. However, it may be normal because there are a lot of factors in play to get the right performance report.

If you are someone who understands technical SEO, you should explore the data explorer page and play with existing presets or create your own presets to get meaningful data.

Ahrefs Data Explorer

Even when you are exploring the data, filters are going to help you the most. My suggestion for you, start experimenting with data explorer and filters from day one to make most out of it.

Here are a few things you should do first to improve your technical SEO:

  • Identify pages with high loading time and fix it
  • Find heavy images on your website and find a way to optimize it
  • Find broken links (Internal + external) and fix it
  • Find orphan pages and link to them if necessary (this could also be done with Yoast SEO plugin)
  • Find pages with missing HTML tags

Ahrefs also boasts of a feature called To-do which I found to be the most usable. With this feature, you can mark any issue as a task and later export it into excel format. You can then work with your team or even freelancers to get the issue resolved.

Overall Ahrefs Site audit feature:

For any existing Ahrefs user, this site audit feature is pretty helpful if used correctly. The simplicity of the interface and helpful videos makes this tool friendly beginners and experienced users alike. As technical SEO has become more essential than ever, this is going to be one fantastic tool to have in your arsenal.

However, if you are planning to get SEMRUSH or Ahrefs just for site audit feature, I would suggest you should explore other tools which are cheaper and developed specifically for this purpose. Here are a few tools that I would recommend at this time:

Now, its your turn to let me know how often you do a site technical audit. Which online or desktop tool do you use? Looking forward to hearing your opinion in the comments.

An Overview Of Ahrefs Site Audit Features: Things You Can Fix is a post from ShoutMeLoud – Shouters Who Inspires