Best WordPress Hosting

Having a great host for your website or blog is very important. A bad, unreliable host can cost you at the very least your reputation. How would it look if potential customers clicked on a search result link or a link in one of your newsletters and your site was unavailable or very slow to load?

Patience is limited these days, even more so on the internet so your site needs to be available 99% – 100% of the time. It also needs to be quick, very quick. [Read more…]

Should You Promote Affiliate Products?

questionRecently I started thinking about all the affiliate stuff that I’ve been promoting and I began to wonder why there are so many websites and blogs that promote things which are clearly bad products or services. One reason could be that the product looks good so that’s a reason to sell it. But just think about that for a second. Would you or anyone you know actively promote a product or service that you knew to be bad or that you haven’t used or tested just to make a few dollars? [Read more…]

WordPress Event Calendars

event-calendarI have a couple of client sites that needed to display events using a plugin. Over the past year I’ve been testing and playing around with various calendar plugins. I will list each one I have experience with below, and I’ll give you my opinion about them. Some of them are good, but most just don’t do the job.

The first one I tried was the All-in-One Event Calendar. At first glance it appeared to be the perfect fit for me, but after months of using on one of my sites I gave up with it.

What I like about All-in-One

✔ It’s free, but there is a pro option. Most users will find the free option is enough.
✔ Great options for displaying events (Posterboard, daily, monthly, weekly)
✔ Easy to add/edit events
✔ You can choose which page to display events
✔ Your visitors/users can add their own events (pro version only)

What I don’t like about All-in-One

✗ Ugly permalinks in event urls; e.g. example.com/ai1ec_event/example-event/?instance_id=4093

Must Have WordPress Plugins

Once the installation of WordPress has been done and your website is live, you’ll need a few plugins to improve the performance and visibility of your site.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

The best SEO plugin for WordPress by far. This plugin will allow you to optimize your website’s pages and posts easily in order to help you get a higher position in the search engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.

Not only will it handle SEO but it also has a sitemap option built in which means one less plugin you’ll need to install.

The plugin maker’s website is here.

W3 Total Cache

Speed up your WordPress website with the best caching plugin there is. The speed with which a website loads is now a factor in Google’s ranking algorithms. Have you ever deserted a website because it took ages to load? Yes, me too but that won’t happen to your site with this great tool.

W3 Total Cache is a little bit complicated at first because it has lots of options in the settings menu so here is a set up tutorial video.

Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu

This plugin is the first one that I install on any WordPress website or blog. It’s not a must have but I think it really makes it easier to work with and adjust the settings.

Contact Form 7

This contact form plugin does the business very simply and effectively but it does have many features that can be used to add more complex forms.

Really Simple CAPTCHA

This plugin works well with Contact Form 7 and its purpose is to stop spammers and bots sending automated spam messages through your contact form. An code is inserted into the form which the user needs to fill in correctly before the message is sent.

WordPress Landing Pages

landing-pageLanding pages are used by many websites to get visitors to do one thing and one thing only. They can be used as a sales page, an opt-in page, a product page, a video page and more. WordPress has many options and solutions for creating amazing landing pages.

Before we take a look at some landing page options, let’s look at the types of landing pages in more detail.

WordPress Landing Pages – Sales Landing Pages

The function of a sales landing page is obvious, but what’s the difference between this and a normal sales page? Landing pages frequently don’t have any menus or navigation so that the only option is to stay on the page or close it completely. The result is that most people will stay on the page and read the content as there is nowhere else to go. This should lead to more conversions.

Sales pages should have some compelling product information plus some customer testimonials. There should also be at least 2 or 3 “buy now” buttons in various places down the page. This means that people can buy your product after reading the first “sales pitch” rather than reading the whole page. If they’re still not convinced, they will read the second “sales pitch” or customer testimonials and then they’ll buy using the next “buy now” button.

WordPress Landing Pages – Opt-in Landing Pages

When you want your visitors to sign up to your newsletter, you can use an opt-in page which highlights the advantages of receiving the newsletter. Again it’s better to have 2 or 3 “sign up” buttons on the page so that your visitors can sign up easily and quickly.

Landing Page Themes & Plugins for WordPress

OptimizePress is a stand-alone WordPress theme

The Genesis Framework has many child themes that include landing page templates