WordPress – IM Tools


Wordpress offers an array of tools including plugins and themes, etc. that will not only help you build your website easily, but also make it feature rich. Unlike themes that you buy through your emails, the tools don’t necessarily have to cost a bomb. Some, if not most of them are free. If you like some of the paid features in the apps or tools, you can go ahead and buy them (as a guideline, not more than US$35 spent per app in total).

A word of advice though, don’t get too many plugins because when you have many apps going in your website, it might reduce the speed or the functionality of your website because there are too many stuff taking the space of your hosting. Therefore, only install the good and necessary ones.

This article will be separated into different sections, starting from the most needed of the functions.

What you have to do is just to go to ‘plugin’ tab on your dashboard, click on ‘add new’ tab, and key in the names of the plugins below as stated. Read the descriptions and if you like it and find it absolutely necessary and will help your business, download it into your WordPress.

 

APPEARANCE

1. Custom Sidebar (plugin) – free : Allows you to create widgetized areas and custom sidebars. Replace whole sidebars or single widgets for specific posts and pages. This is especially useful if you want to arrange the side bars according to how you wish. There is a paid version within but the free one should suffice. No need to spend.

2. Post Types Order (plugin) – free : This will help you arrange your posts according to how you want it in the various categories that you have. The free one can do the basic reordering but the paid one can do much more and is more useful we must say – refer to Advanced Post Types Order, especially if you have many categories in your website. The paid version called Advanced Post Types Order will be a gem if you want to arrange your posts to how you want it.

PAGE BUILDERS 

It is quite important to choose the right page builder, because that will determine how your website will appeal to your audience.

ALL WEBSITES;

1.) Thrive Content Builder

Popularity: Very popular among the Internet Marketers

Focus: Build Content according to how you want the layout to be.

Basic Features: Build any web page that you want, including landing pages, sales pages, blog pages, etc. in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) manner, no reloading of pages to see how your page looks like.

Extra Features:

  1. Call to Action buttons,
  2. Social Proof with testimonial element,
  3. Create attention grabbing boxes,
  4. Add customizable, responsive price tables,
  5. Countdown timer and Evergreen Countdown,
  6. Get Social Shares through click to tweet box,
  7. Add fully responsive videos with just one click,
  8. Add table of contents within posts,
  9. Lead Generation Elements.

In short, this replaces all the software you have ever bought or are going to buy. 🙂

Integrates with:

Learning Curve: Very Short, WYSIWYG.

Price:

  1. $59 for one website,
  2. $89 for UNLIMITED websites (just pay the balance from the one website license above, if you want an upgrade to the unlimited license),
  3. $399 per year for use on client sites as well.

Includes a 30 days risk free trial for all plans. 

Support: Very responsive 1 year support and they are constantly upgrading.

Disadvantages:

  1. It won’t be able to amend your the current pages which are set up by your existing themes. However, it will be able to set up new pages or posts in your website and does not clash with your existing themes or plugins.
  2. Does not much social media buttons you can use – just ‘Click to Tweet’, that’s it. It works well, however, with other plugins so you can download free plugins which allow you to share.

Verdict: Definitely recommended for all websites.

2.) LeadPages

Popularity: 30,000 customers and growing

Focus:

  1. Opt in pages,
  2. Sales pages,
  3. Webinar registration pages,
  4. Thank you pages,
  5. Mobile responsive pages,
  6. Templates incl. high converting ones,
  7. Able to embed videos in pages,
  8. Constantly updating.

Basic Features:

  1. Unlimited no. of landing pages,
  2. Unlimited no. of Pop up pages,
  3. Collects telephone no,
  4. Enables customers to subscribe to your list by clicking on a link.

Extra Features:

  1. Social – e.g. Facebook,
  2. A/B Split testing,
  3. Template importer (imports your done-up page to be one of the templates in your LeadPage account).

Integrates with:

  • IContact, LeadNotifications, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, GetResponse, AWeber, ConstantContact, MadMiMi, Send Reach,
  • GotoWebinar, OfficeAutoPilot, HubSpot, Shopping Cart.

Learning Curve: Short

Price:

  1. Home Businesses: $25/mth
  2. Small Businesses: $49/mth (incl. A/B split testing)
  3. Teams & Agencies: $199/mth

 Includes a 30 days risk free trial for all plans.

Support: They upgrade constantly and give good support.

Disadvantages: At this point in time, the price may be a disadvantage for those on budget. Unless you have software to cover all the basic features listed above, this is highly recommended if you want A/B split testing included.

Verdict: Get at least $49/mth plan because that is the only plan which includes testing. That is, if you want something that allows you to build unlimited no. of landing pages and collect leads.

MEMBERSHIP WEBSITES;

1.) Wishlist Member

Popularity: Very popular, even among non-internet marketers.

Focus: Protect

Basic Features:

  1. Unlimited membership levels
  2. Automatic content delivery
  3. Works with WordPress site. Just unzip, upload and activate
  4. Control viewed content just by using a ‘hide’ button
  5. Create free, trial, or paid membership levels — or any combination of the three
  6. Easy member management: Upgrade, move, pause or delete their membership
  7. Give your members access to multiple levels within your membership

Extra Features:

  1. Total content protection
  2. Membership subscription length control
  3. Secure RSS Feeds
  4. Custom your error pages
  5. Sneak peak content display
  6. Partial content display
  7. Login redirection for different membership levels
  8. Video tutorials
  9. Support guides
  10. 1 year of unlimited support and updates

Integrates with:

  • WordPress, ClickBank, OntraPort, AWeber, ArpReach, Get Response, Mail Chimp, Easy Webinar Plugin, JVZoo
  • Payment PayPal, ClickBank, Cydec, Infusionsoft, Stripe and many more.

Learning Curve: Medium.

Price:

  1. 1 URL : $197,
  2. Unlimited URLs: $297

There is also a 30 days risk free trial period. 

Disadvantages:  The price may be a little daunting for those on a tight budget but it’s definitely worth it.

Verdict: If you are setting up membership sites, which is a fantastic way of making money, Wishlist is highly recommended.

2.) Paid Memberships Pro

Popularity: 50,000+ active installs in WordPress

Focus: Protect and collect Membership Payments

Features:

  1. Set up unlimited membership levels
  2. Provide restricted access to members-only content (including pages, posts, categories, videos, forums, downloads, support, single “a la carte” page access, and more).
  3. Flexible enough to fit the needs of almost all online and offline businesses.
  4. It works great out of the box, but is easy for developers to customize to fit your needs.
  5. Easy-to-Use Admin Pages and Settings
    – Membership access by Page/Post/Category
    – Members list with CSV export
    – Easy payment gateway setup
    – Ever expanding list of membership reports
    – Membership discounts with customizable price rules
  6. Your members can update their billing information or cancel their account directly on your site. Any active subscription will be cancelled at the payment gateway for you.
  7. Our growing library of Add ons allow you to extend Paid Memberships Pro to your needs, helping you integrate with 3rd party services or other plugins.
  8. Works with any WordPress theme you want.

Integrates with:

  • Stripe, Authorize.net, PayPal (Standard, Express, Website Payments Pro, and PayPal Payments Pro/Payflow), Braintree, 2Checkout, and Cybersource. View Gateways

Learning Curve: Medium.

Price:

  1. 1 URL : $97,
  2. Unlimited URLs: $197

There is also a 30 days risk-free trial period.
Membership Expires after a year

Disadvantages:  You may want to get the Pro version for even better support from the team.

Verdict: If you are serious about building a membership site without experiencing much difficulties, this may be the membership plugin for you.

3.) WP-Members 

Popularity: 70,000+ Active installs in WordPress

Focus: Protect premium content sites, good for newsletters, clubs/associations and many more.

Features:

  • Block posts, pages, both, or none by default
  • Block individual posts/pages
  • User login, registration, and profile integrated into your theme
  • Sidebar login widget
  • Create custom registration and profile fields
  • Set which fields display and which are required
  • Notify admin of new user registrations
  • Hold new registrations for admin approval
  • Setting to automatically create post excerpts
  • More than 100 action and filter hooks for extensibility

Integrates with:

  • Stripe, Authorize.net, PayPal (Standard, Express, Website Payments Pro, and PayPal Payments Pro/Payflow), Braintree, 2Checkout, and Cybersource. View Gateways

Learning Curve: High, without the premium version because of the coding you have to apply if you only have the free version.

Price:

  1. Free
  2. Premium version which cost $59

Disadvantages:
WP-Members does not automatically hide absolutely everything from view. The default install of the plugin is designed to use “teaser” content to drive users to want to register. If you want certain content or menu elements completely hidden, there are ways to do that with some customization between your theme and the plugin, but it is not automatic.

Verdict:This is good if you know a little coding here and there. Otherwise, the learning curve can be quite steep. All in all, this is the only membership plugin which is free and gives good support at the same time. Judging from the number of active installs they have, this membership plugin must have lots of good qualities.


SEO 

For SEO, you might want to refer to this article, http://imsimplify.com/2015/04/14/wordpress-seo-tools/


SPAM-PREVENTION

1. Akismet (Plugin) – priced(don’t ignore first) – You might have to pay US$5 per month for this plugin to prevent spam from infiltrating into your website but this is pretty useful and quite necessary we feel. It is already available in the default WordPress. Just decide whether or not to activate after you like what you read in the description section.

There might be a request for Akismet to be bundled with VaultPress, which costs about US$9 per month as of this writing. The bundle will backup your website if you have not done so. If your hosting has already got the backup function, you do not need VaultPress. Akismet alone is good enough for spam-prevention.

2. Spam Comments Cleaner 

Cost: Free!

What does it do: This plugin deletes all the spam comments in your WordPress site in regular time intervals

All possible time intervals available:
* Delete Now
* Delete after 1 minute
* Delete in every hour.
* Delete once in a day in a regular manner.
* Delete twice in a day in a regular manner.
* Delete once in a week in a regular manner.
* Delete once in a month in a regular manner.
* Delete twice in a month in a regular manner.
* Delete every day at your custom set time.
* Stop spam comments delete.

Benefits: Secure and Light weight, very simple and less coding effort. All you need to do is click on suitable time interval button.

Requires WordPress Version: 3.0 or higher (Compatible up to WordPress Version 4.5.2 as of this writing).

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