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5 Great WordPress Plugins To Help You Start A Blog

5 Great WordPress Plugins To Help You Start A Blog

Whether you’re a blogging veteran or just starting out blogging for the first time, making sure your WordPress setup is as streamline & effective as possible is crucial. However, slugging through the WordPress plugin directly to get the plugins you need functionality for can take hours and be a real pain. So we’ve simplified things for you. Avoid the headache & the runaround with these 5 essential WordPress plugins to help you start your blog.

1. WordPress SEO by Yoast

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    100% of new bloggers spend entirely too much time worrying about “SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The truth is that SEO takes years to master and is constantly changing. It’s tough to keep up with the changing landscape, and 99% of bloggers are better served by focusing on writing a regular schedule than figuring out SEO. Yoast’s SEO plugin lets you bridge the gap of making sure that the posts you do write are SEO-friendly without spending hours and hours of your time make sure you’re manually making each post as SEO-friendly as possible. Download WordPress SEO by Yoast (Yoast has both paid & free versions of their plugin).

    2. Gravity Forms

    This is hands-down the best form creation tool out there. It’s also a paid plugin—why pay for a plugin that just creates forms? Well, it does more than that. Hook it up with Zapier and sync contact forms to your email address or pull that data into any other application that you like. Don’t want to do that, but want to make a multi-party survey form? Instead of paying a subscription to survey monkey or another service, you can create the forms right on site and collect the entry data over a series of pages. It’s almost hard to explain how great Gravity Forms is until you’ve tried to use other form plugins and pulled your hair out for a good hour or two. Give it a shot, and you won’t be disappointed.

    Download Gravity Forms (Gravity Forms is a paid plugin). Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 10.07.40 PM
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      3. OptinMonster

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        I’ve tried a ton of different pop-ups, and OptinMonster combines both usability & design (as well as performing better than other pop-ups I’ve tried). Not only does OptinMonster give you a traditional pop-up overlay, but they also have alternative email collection abilities including the “slide-in,” “sidebar and after-post,” and a footer opt-in as well as a few other ones on the way. If you’re against pop-ups, you should watch this video by Derek Halpern on why you’re an idiot if you’re not using pop-ups. Download OptinMonster (OptinMonster is a paid plugin)

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        4. iThemes Security

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          If you’ve ever had your site hacked, you know what a headache it is because of both the financial and mental resources you have to expend in order to get it back up & running again. Avoid this at all costs. Stop getting hacked before it even starts. iThemes runs 30 checks to secure your site checks and notifies you if you’re getting brute-force attempts on your login. Once you start seeing how many bots and scripts are out there looking for common, already-known vulnerabilities, you’ll be glad you took proactive measures on this front. There’s nothing more annoying and time-wasting than getting hacked. Download iThemes Security (iThemes Security has both free & paid versions of the plugin).

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          5. WP Super Cache

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            As your site grows, you’ll add more pages, files and images, and as you do, you’ll see that it slows down over time. Besides upgrading your hosting (which can be expensive), the next fastest win you can make id installing a caching plugin that basically takes a photo of your site and serves it up whenever someone visits the site (which saves time & resources). WP Super Cache is free and is the most lightweight & effective caching plugin out there. Speed up your site and install it now. Download WP Supercache (WP Super Cache is a free plugin). For more tips on blogging, check out our 25 blogging tips for new bloggers.

            Featured photo credit: Wesley Fryer via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on July 8, 2020

            10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

            10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

            Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

            Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

            As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

            In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

            Projects and Tasks Management

            1. Monday dot com

              Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

              The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

              The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

              The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

              Check out the software here!

              2. Asana

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                The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

                The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

                Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

                Check out the software here!

                3. Trello

                  Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

                  Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

                  Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

                  Check out the software here!

                  4. Jira

                    The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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                    The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

                    The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

                    Check out the software here!

                    5. Evernote Business

                      Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

                      The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

                      Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Communication

                      6. Slack

                        Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                        Check out the software here!

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                        7. Spike

                          Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                          Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                          Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                          Check out the software here!

                          Creation

                          8. Office 365

                            Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                            Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                            You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                            Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                            Check out the software here!

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                            9. Grammarly

                              Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                              Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                              Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                              Check out the software here!

                              Team Analytics

                              10. ActivTrak

                                ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                                The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                                Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                                Check out the software here!

                                The Bottom Line

                                Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                                More Productivity Tools

                                Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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