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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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            Trending in Technology

            1 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 2 15 Organization Apps to Boost Your Personal Productivity 3 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019 4 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Keep You on Track in 2019 5 How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

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            Last Updated on September 11, 2019

            8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

            8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

            Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

            Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

            Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

            Why Typing Fast Matters?

            Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

            Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

            Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

            Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

            8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

            Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

            Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.

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            For Beginners

            1. Speed Typing Online

              What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

              The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

              2. Typing Trainer

                Typing Trainer

                is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

                Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

                The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

                3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

                  There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.

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                  Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

                  The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

                  For professional writers and programmers

                  4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

                    Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

                    If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

                    Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

                    If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

                    If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

                    5. The Typing Cat

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                      Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

                      Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

                      The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

                      Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

                      Fun typing games

                      6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                        Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                        Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                        The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                        7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles

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                          Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                          Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                          Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                          8. Daily Quote Typing

                            Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                            Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on Wordgames.com – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                            With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                            Bottom Line

                            At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                            By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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