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Favourite Word Press Plug Ins

My Favourite Plug-Ins for WordPress

(The bottom of this blog includes a bonus video on how I made this blog post. )

 

  1. Coming Soon by SeedProd
  2. Akismet Anti-Spam
  3. CDN Enabler
  4. Cookie Notice and compliance for GDPR/CCPA
  5. Site Kit by Google
  6. Smush
  7. Wordfence Security

1. Coming Soon by SeedProd

This plug-in creates a simple splash page that hides your new WordPress site until you are ready for your website to go live. It is the very first Plug-in I load and set up.

2. Akismet Anti-Spam

It might come pre-loaded but only use plugins that you need. You need this plug-in if you have a blog and allow comments. I removed it once and quickly got thousands of fake comments on a client’s site – so it definitely works well.

  1. CDN Enabler

Rewrites URLs like CSS, JavaScript, and images, to be served by a content delivery network (CDN) which helps speed up your WordPress site. Only use this plug-in if your host doesn’t provide CDN service.

  1. Cookie Notice and compliance for GDPR/CCPA

Adds a notice to your site to tell visitors that your site uses cookies and helps you comply with GDPR, CCPA and other data privacy laws. I use the plug-in by Hu-manity.co and it always works well for me. Whatever one you choose – be sure to use one.

 

  1. Site Kit by Google 

Sets up search console, Google analytics and site speed tests. In other words,

    • how your site appears in Search results
    • how many visitors you’ve had
    • analytics on your visitors
    • you can even run speed tests on your site

This used to be so difficult because you had to set these all up separately and now Google makes it so much easier I need to thank Google.

  1. Smush

This easily reduces image file sizes to help load time which improves performance and helps with SEO. I use Smush from WPMU DEV  and it saves me hours of resizing my images manually. Plus, I have tried other image optimizing plug-ins that caused problems so I trust Smush.

 

  1. Wordfence Security – This is a must have plug in.

I keep my site safe by using Wordfence Security – Anti-virus, Firewall and Malware Scan by Wordfence I use the free version and it has always been amazingly good at keeping my site secure. However, if my site ever went into the BigLeagues – I would pay for the Pro version for sure.

 

      • Only use plug-ins you need.
      • Remove any that you don’t need that may have been included in your hosting package.
      • Always keep plug-ins up to date by enabling auto updates for your plug-ins.
      • No, I did not get paid to mention any of these plug-ins. I just use them and they work well for me.

 Do you agree? What are your Go-To plugins that you always use?

Are you new to WordPress and want to learn more? Watch the video on how I created this post:

The Easiest Way to Create a WordPress Post

 

Shopify Time Savers When Setting Up Products

Shopify Time Savers When Setting Up Products

A Super Simple Time Saving Tip When Setting Up Products in Your Shopify Shop

Shopify’s “Duplicate” feature allows you to duplicate products when setting up products in your Shopify shop. Although you make changes to the title and product description, the basics such as

  • product tags
  • category
  • Region
  • taxes etc…

remain generally the same. This is where your time gets saved in picky little details.

However, the URL gets convoluted and if you don’t fix it while you are editing your product, you will have to go back in to each product separately, which is a big waste of time.

When you go to the bottom of the Product page to the Search engine listing preview you will see how the link includes the original copy of the link plus the new page title. To fix this, you must Edit Website SEO and delete the duplicate portion of the link.

Watch the video to see how easy it is to save time when setting up your Shopify Products store.

First 3 Steps to Get Your Business Online

First 3 Steps to Get Your Business Online

The First 3 Steps to Getting Your Business Online

  1. Secure your name
  2. Choose your platforms
  3. Choose a host

1. Secure your name

I am Canadian so I start with both .ca and .com top level domains for my website name.  Even if you don’t want to use all the social media platforms right now, secure your name for the future. I start with https://www.namecheckr.com/ to make sure I get the same name for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.

2. Choose Your Platform

Website Platform Consider starting with a landing page for your business website if you aren’t ready to start with a full feature website. You will have an online presence while you create content for your website. First you need to decide which platform is best suited to your needs. There is oodles of information about which platform is best. But, the question you need answered is:

Which platform is best for you?

I use Word Press. The downside is that there requires some learning depending how comfortable you are with technology. You could hire a designer to get you started and then take over for updates. Once your theme and template is set up, it is an easy blogging platform. You are not limited to what you do and you have complete control for future growth. The top three ecommerce website builders for small businesses are Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify. But it is like renting. You don’t own your site.

Shopify – Easy set up for an online store. Easily manages multiple payment methods and outranks other website builders in SEO.

Etsy – Showcase and sell homemade goods online

Wix – Simple way to set up a landing page.

Social Media Platforms

LinkedIn – Validate your business

Facebook business page – For followers and visibility

Instagram – Visually interesting way to gain followers,

TikTok, Twitter, SnapChat etc….. You don’t need to start with all the social media platforms. It is better to do a great job of one platform than a mediocre job of several platforms. As long as you have reserved your name, you can jump on to new platforms when you are ready. The most important consideration is to choose a platform where your ideal clients frequent.

3. Choose a host

Your host is the server where your website lives. Ideally, your host should have:

-Geo-redundant servers

-Automatic free back-ups

-Free 24 hour phone tech support

-Easy integration of third party apps (ie: WordPress, Joomla)

I use Ionos. I probably pay a bit more for their service but it’s like paying cheap insurance for when a website goes down or gets attacked. I know that I can phone them in the middle of the night and get an immediate resolution.

If you don’t know where to start with getting your business online these are the first three decisions you need to make. I have been setting up and managing websites for almost 20 years. My clients range from having me set up and maintain their websites and social media to passing over complete control to them. Some don’t want to know anything tech related and for others, I only step in when they have a problem. My clients are all experts in their fields, we just have different knowledge bases. Zooming with them to meet their needs is the best part of our online experience. If you have more specific questions, you can send me an email: Eileen@eileendreams.com and I will give you a free 30 minute consultation.

Scams

Scams

Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

Domain Renewal Scams and Search Engine Scams

So many of my clients have received emails like this that I feel I should warn people.

Emails like this:

Don’t miss out on this offer which includes search engine submission for “InsertYourdomainnamehere”.com for 12 months. There is no obligation to pay for this order unless you complete your payment by 3/10/2019. Our services provide submission and search engine ranking for domain owners. This offer for submission services is not required to renew your domain registration.

Failure to complete your search engine registration by 3/10/2015 may result in the cancellation of this order (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).

Then they include a big colourful link to make your payment.
Normally I don’t rant but this really frosts me. This part here:

“(making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).”

is a big fat lie!! don’t believe it! These are not SEO companies. You can submit your own website for SEO if you want. Plus, it is free to submit your website to search engines. If you need help with SEO, hire a Company or person you know and trust.

Plus, to make it look like they are complying with the new CASL laws they add an address to make their scam look legitimate:

You have received this message because you elected to receive special notifications and offers. If you no longer wish to receive our special notices, please unsubscribe here,(No Don’t! Block the sender or flag it as junk!) or mail us a written request to the attention of: Customer Contact Manager, PO Box 4668 New York, NY 10163. Please allow up to four weeks for the complete unsubscribe process to take place. NOTE: If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually in order to fully stop receiving these notifications. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant. (No it isn’t!)
Please do not reply to this email, as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.

This should be a big red flag. Legitimate companies allow you to reply.

Do a Google search for the address. This particular address has 5 businesses at this PO box. None of which are Tech or SEO Companies.

If you receive a notice that your domain is expiring, phone your host before handing over money. Another email scam that my clients often contact me about is domain renewal. They receive an email saying that their domain is about to expire and if they don’t pay now they will loose their domain. These emails are quite clever and it is easy to be fooled by them. This really frosts me. Not only do they get your money under false pretenses they steal the domain from your registrar and possibly even steal it from you.

So, please be very careful when renewing your domain.

I’m Not a Writer

I’m Not a Writer

I don’t know how many times I have committed to writing in my blog more often even though I’d rather scrub a toilet. Well my toilet just can’t get any cleaner so I guess I have to write again but honestly I’d rather be at the beach.

I’ve heard it said many times that social media isn’t “real” and there are valid points for that argument, but for me personally, I have mostly encountered very real and heartfelt connections. I am on Twitter which seems to have a life of its own that is far too fast paced for me to keep up with and for the most part I ignore it. I’m just not a cutting edge type. Although, if you are on Twitter and have any sort of customer service problem, just tweet about it and see how fast your issue is resolved! Plus, in an effort to reach a more targeted audience, many stores (like Safeway) offer super coupon deals to Twitter followers.

Recently I experienced an earthquake. I was alone and it made me feel very vulnerable. To my surprise I immediately started receiving tweets asking if I was ok. At that moment, those tweets felt as real and as connected to the real world as I could possibly be. So yes Virginia, there is a silver lining and yes, social media can be real and used to connect with real people in a real world.