In this section, you will discover the tools and resources that I use for my websites and online marketing activities. I highly recommend these products if you intend to start your website. Some of those tools are meant to be used in WordPress, whereas others will integrate to your site or they can run on your desktop. Below, I provide a short description of each tool. In some cases, I reviewed the product in a separate article.
WPX powers my BuzzAndTips WordPress site. They are an exciting web hosting company that offer a great deal for your dollar. When I started my research for a web host, I was looking for: excellent uptime, great support, fast page load, scalability, security and, affordable pricing. I obtained these capabilities with WPX Hosting.
If you intend to start a new website or even transfer your existing WordPress site, you should consider them. They are fast on both the front-end (what your visitors see) and the back-end (the WordPress admin area). Learn more about WPX Hosting »
Kinsta is a high-end WordPress hosting provider. They use cutting-edge technology, Google Cloud computing Platform (the same thing big Google uses), and provide you with excellent support. They offer free migration, ultimate speeds, daily backups, and bullet-proof security. Learn more about Kinsta »
GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme that I use on the BuzzAndTips website. It is lightweight, loads fast and provides you with everything you need to start your website … for free. Learn more about GeneratePress »
GP Premium is a plugin, not a theme. However, it complements the GeneratePress theme by adding a ton of excellent benefits: site library, typography, colors, WooCommerce, Sections, Menu Plus, page headers, backgrounds and more. This is what I use on the BuzzAndTips site. Highly recommended. Learn more about GP Premium »
Elementor is among the best WordPress page builders. It enables you to create beautiful pages with drag and drop. No coding skills required. It works on any theme, and it’s free to use. Elementor also has a PRO version that adds further functionality to your design needs. I used Elementor to build this Tools section. Learn more about Elementor »
Social Warfare adds nice social sharing buttons to your blog, website, and pages. It is highly customizable and encourages social sharing for your website visitors. With Social Warfare, you can add an image that is optimized for maximum exposure on Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Learn more about Social Warfare »
Improve your affiliate marketing results with the ThirstyAffiliates plugin. It integrates well with WordPress. I used the free version for a long time until I learned more about their PRO version. I am now on PRO because it brings additional functionality. One of my favorites: Automatic Keyword Linking. Learn more about Thirsty Affiliates »
As soon as you are running a website, creating reliable backups is an essential task you must complete. My choice for website backups is UpDraftPlus, the optimal solution for complete backups for WordPress. UpDraftPlus allows you to back up every single file related to your website, with a simple restore feature that can be carried out in minutes. UpDraftPlus also lets you move your websites from one host to another, or from a test site to a production site (premium only). I use it to create staging environments. UpDraftPlus enables you to send backups to offsite locations such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 and more. Learn more about UpdraftPlus »
WP Rich Snippets is a plugin that will add structured schema markup to your blog posts. Google search results will display your article with a series of yellow stars. If you write product reviews, WP Rich Snippets is an essential tool. It helps in enhancing your reviews with star or percent ratings; it includes price ranges, calls to action, and more. Besides, it will help you get noticed in Google SERPs. Please check my product review section for examples. Learn more about WP Rich Snippets »
Yoast SEO should be one of the first plugin you install in WordPress. Yoast has both free and premium plans. At the minimum, get the free one so you can get guidance about on-page SEO.
I purchased Yoast SEO premium because of these three awesome options:
- Internal linking suggestions
- Content insights
- Redirect manager
Web Performance Optimization
In this section, I discuss about three WordPress plugins and one external service. All of them will help you getting better website performance.
WP Rocket is the best caching plugin for WordPress that I have ever used. WP Rocket will also fine tune various WordPress components. It will minify files (HTML, CSS, JS), combine data (Google fonts), remove query strings. It integrates with CDN (Content Delivery Network). In my case, It plays well with KeyCDN. It supports LazyLoad, mobile caching, SSL caching, Emoji caching, and much more!
Imagify is a WordPress plugin that runs in the background. This plugin will compress and optimize all images that you upload to WordPress. Before using Imagify, I was compressing images manually on my desktop. With Imagify, I’m confidently skipping this step. Imagify lets you adjust the compression level. I’ve set it to aggressive so that images have the least impact on page load time. My pictures still look good after compression. And don’t forget: in a mobile world, this becomes even more important. Your website needs to load fast! Learn more about Imagify »
MailerLite is an email marketing platform to grow your subscriber list. It is free of charge for up to 1,000 subscribers. As opposed to its competitors, a subscriber is unique and never counted twice.
With MailerLite, you can automate your subscriber onboarding. You can email marketing campaigns, newsletters, training lessons that span over time. You can segment your audience and zero-in a specific group for specific offers.
Every online marketer will tell you to build your email list. My tool of choice to manage my email subscriber list is ActiveCampaign. But why did I choose them? What’s unique about ActiveCampaign is their conditional logic implementation. Most of the time, this feature exists only in higher ticket systems (like Ontraport, Infusionsoft). With ActiveCampaign, you can segment your list in sub-lists, automate various parts of your email marketing, and more. And besides, ActiveCampaign offers affordable pricing for beginners, and it can scale up for more advanced marketers. Learn more about ActiveCampaign »
Keyword Research & SEO
KWFinder is a keyword research and analysis tool that’s easy to use. It provides you with keyword ideas that you can easily rank for. With KWFinder, you will get SEO keyword difficulty score, search volume, long tail keywords, page authority, and many metrics.
Whenever you write a piece of content, you want it to rank in the search engines. You also want your content to be found and attract visitors to your website. Long Tail Pro will help you achieving this goal. With this particular tool, you will discover the high value and low competition keywords, you will find easy to rank for keywords in competitive niches, and you will find buyer keyword phrases in your niche market. Learn more about Long Tail Pro »
Competition Analysis & SEO
SERPSTAT is an all-in-one SEO platform. It offers several tools such as:
- keyword research (determine the value of keywords, long-tail keywords, etc.)
- search analytics (competitor research)
- advertising analytics (unveil your competitor’s advertising strategies)
- content marketing ideation (search suggestions, related keywords, etc.)
- competitor research (top competitors, highest visibility score pages of competitors, etc.)
- rank tracking
- market intelligence
- on-page audit
- backlink analysis.
SERPSTAT also has a nice Chrome extension that enables a quick page SEO analysis. It saves your time by showing website’s key SEO metrics in your browser toolbar.
AirStory is my main writing tool. I use it to write blog posts, pages, documents, ebooks. It is also useful for brainstorming ideas. Simply connect AirStory to your WordPress and upload your AirStory documents to your blog in one click.
As a blogger and marketer, your focus is on creation. During your writing, Grammarly will help you eliminate most writing mistakes. It works wherever you are online. Grammarly is free and offers 150 critical grammar and spelling checks. You can also subscribe to a Grammarly premium plan that offers 100+ new advanced grammar and spelling checks, Vocabulary enhancement suggestions, and more. This tool is a must. Learn more about Grammarly »
IconFinder is the best place for icons. I use their icons in my featured images and other marketing materials. You can choose between the free and premium images (Pro plans). Their broad selection is easily searchable. For instance, you can search ‘marketing’ or ‘blogging’ or ‘kitchen’. They have icons for all tastes. Their icons come in several formats and sizes: PNG, JPEG, SVG, etc. Pro plans for all budgets are available: “Pay as you go”, “Micro”, “Starter” and, “Unlimited”. Highly recommended, you won’t regret it. Learn more about IconFinder »
AirTable is both a spreadsheet and a relational database. I use it to create project plans, strategies, marketing campaigns, migration plans, and more.
AirTable is free to use for 1,200 records per base (or spreadsheet). You can have unlimited bases. If you need to increase this limit, you can subscribe to reasonably priced paid plans. Learn more about AirTable »
Parallels enable you to run Windows / Linux on your Mac without rebooting. You can run your Mac / Windows / Linux applications side by side. You can also launch several instances of Windows and Linux on your Mac.
The test bed use case: with Parallels, you can restore your production WordPress environment into a Windows or Linux virtual machine. You can then test new plugins, new themes or any change before implementing them on your live system.
A very common use case: you can run Windows-specific tools from your workplace on the Mac without having to buy a separate computer.
SnagIt is a tool that I use every single day. I use it to capture screenshots, windows, buttons, partial screens, etc. I use these captured elements in my writing, blog posts, website pages.
ScreenFlow is a screencasting and video editing software for Mac OS/X. With this versatile software, you can record everything that displays on your screen including the audio. You can later edit your videos and audio to suit your needs.
The software will let you add special effects; you can split videos into smaller segments, etc. From ScreenFlow, you can directly publish to Vimeo, Youtube, Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, Wistia, Box and, Imgur. ScreenFlow is part of Telestream, a software house that also develops several other cool products. You can request your ScreenFlow fully functional free trial. Learn more about ScreenFlow »
All-in-one live streaming production software for Windows and MacOS that enables capture, live production and encoding for live streams in one cost-effective, flexible software solution.
Wirecast is easy to use:
- Add cameras, microphones, video and media files, graphics, titles, to your live presentations and broadcasts with the click of a button.
- You can arrange them in a simple layer system. Everything on the top layer shows all the way down to the bottom.
- When you are ready to stream, simply enter your username for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or any of the other 30+ destinations built into Wirecast. And then click the stream button. Learn more about Wirecast »
Amazon Product Research
JungleScout is a Chrome browser extension that does Amazon product research for you. Get instant product insights on Amazon as your browse! Filter by metrics you care about, including price, rank, estimated sales and more so you can spot the best opportunities to pursue. JungleScout is a must-have tool for Amazon affiliate marketers. Learn more about JungleScout »
Domain Name Registration
NameCheap is a domain registration service. You need a domain name for your website or WordPress site. With NameCheap, it’s easy to search for the domain name you want and to purchase it with the click of a button. You can also transfer your existing domains with them. Learn more about NameCheap »