My Top 5 Picks – Plugins, Web Apps, Posts & More Feb. 2, 2016
Where has the year gone already? There are so many things going on in the Internet of Things, it’s been hard to get my list down to my favorite top 5! I’m thinking I may need to switch to 5 plugins, 5 web apps and 5 miscellaneous picks each month. What do you think?
I’ve been using these picks and, boy are they going to change the way you handle your website. They work so well with my last few Top 5 Picks; if you haven’t looked at them recently, go back and check them out!
The new year has brought a lot of changes here at WordPress Chick. I’ve started working with an awesome content creator to help with my Top 5 picks and other blog posts. I’m hoping you’ll love what we’ve got planned for the next few months. In the meantime, if you’ve got your own picks, definitely let us know in the comments section!
Here’s what we’ve got today:
WP Google Calendar Manager (WordPress Plugin)
What it is: There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to sync your Google calendar, your site’s Event Calendar, and your personal calendar. The WordPress WP Google Calendar Manager plugin is a fantastic solution. With just the click of a button, you can put your upcoming events front and center on your website, without all the brain damage syncing can be.
WordPress WP Google Calendar Manager has so many features, it’s hard to put everything in one place but I can say one of the best things about it is that the admin settings are intuitive, learning how you work with your calendars and allowing for simple configuration changes. It gives you the option of having multiple versions of your calendar, allowing you to show, for instance, a podcast calendar, a seminar calendar and an event calendar, all on the front end of your site. And importing your calendar couldn’t be simpler.
Right now, the plugin is free, although they’re hoping to release a Pro version soon, that’ll even let you manage your events from either your website or your Google calendar. And if you’ve been using a site like EventBrite or Evite for registrations for your event, the Pro version gives you the option of registrations and payments directly into your site, without the middle man.
WordPress WP Google Calendar Manager works with WP 3.2+ and PHP5.
[button url=”https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-gcalendar/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#e05455″ size=”5″ radius=”0″]Checkout WP Google Calendar[/button] [divider top=”no” divider_color=”#bcbcbc” size=”2″][/divider]
WP Asset Clean-up (WordPress Plugin)
Sometimes, the culprit of a slow page load is a plugin that runs on every single page, when it only needs to run on one. Worse still, videos on your site are running in the background throughout the time someone visits your site, instead of shutting off when they move from page to page.
WP Asset Clean-Up scans your page and shows you everything that’s loaded. From there, you just have to edit the page or post and choose which asset you don’t wish to load on that page. The plugin makes your page load at warp speed by decreasing the number of HTTP requests loading and reducing the size of the HTML code per page. It makes the source code and your server access log files easier to scan and search. And it resolves conflicts between plugins and themes.
One of the best benefits of WP Asset Clean-up is that your website is faster, meaning your Google ranking will be higher in searches without having to pay more to bring your rankings up. And a faster page loading means happier visitors who stay longer and come back again and again.[button url=”https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-asset-clean-up/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#2f90a1″ size=”5″ radius=”0″]Checkout WP Asset Clean Up[/button] [divider top=”no” divider_color=”#bcbcbc” size=”2″][/divider]
Content Marketer (web app)
What it is: This web app is really cool, especially for building your email list and followers for your site or your blog posts. If you’re like me, you write your posts, quote other articles, other people and mention companies. You promote your posts through your typical social media channels and that’s it. But wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to automatically get the contact information for anyone mentioned in your post? That’s what ContentMarketer.io is all about
Here’s how it works. You sign up for the app, then enter the URL of your blog post to scan (you can also scan CSV files). The app runs through your post and then searches the web for contact information for anyone, any company, any anything that’s mentioned in the post, providing you with a list of the information quickly. Better yet, it then lets you send an email, post a tweet or send info to LinkedIn to let those you mentioned know about it, directly within the app. Then, you have that information to draw from for future blog posts and other content you might write.
The free Notifier version of the app lets you scan and do outreach, as well as exporting the information into a CSV file. There are two additional levels of monthly membership under the ContentMarketer version, with lots more goodies. You can schedule your tweets to your new contacts, automate the outreach emails, research contacts by name and website and, perhaps best of all, personal support of the founders.
Upgrade your marketing efforts with ContentMarketer.io – you’ll be amazed how much you’re missing without it![button url=”https://contentmarketer.io/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#95aa4d” size=”5″ radius=”0″]Checkout ContentMarketer[/button] [divider top=”no” divider_color=”#bcbcbc” size=”2″][/divider]
Apester (web app)
What it is: I’ve been playing with this one so much, I almost forgot I was supposed to write about it. Apester is a great way to engage with your site visitors by letting you create polls, questionnaires and other ways for your visitors to give you their opinions.
Want to know what types of blog posts your site visitors are looking for? Ask them! Apester’s creation interface is so easy to use, you’ll find yourself making questionnaires and surveys all day long. The app includes unique, visually-appealing graphic backgrounds for your surveys and an easy-to-read format that makes your site visitors WANT to take the quiz.
Not only does Apester let you create eye-catching visitor input, it keeps track of the results for you and gives feedback to those responding to the post. You’ll get real, quantifiable feedback on any subject you can think of, bringing you closer to your target audience and keeping them engaged with you.
Apester is free and lets you set up separate channels, one for each online persona. When a questionnaire is published to a channel, Apester even sends out a Tweet with a link to the survey, so you’re getting more engagement, far beyond your website. This will probably warrant a full post & video in and of itself. I’ll run a couple tests and share the results with you guys.[button url=”http://apester.com/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#e05455″ size=”5″ radius=”0″]Checkout APESTER[/button] [divider top=”no” divider_color=”#bcbcbc” size=”2″][/divider]
The Step-by-Step Method to Making Your Content Shareable on Social Media (blog post)
What it is: I’ve seen this happen almost every day and I know you have, too – those social media posts where the images are so big, they’re cut off, the wrong picture shows up, or site branding is included in the post. Drives me crazy. I knew there was a way to get the problem fixed, but I couldn’t say it better than this post on Problogger.net.
Beth Hayden, the author, really hones in on the cause of the problem (the metadata associated with the link) and gives you clear, concise steps on how to resolve it BEFORE the link is posted to social media. What’s metadata? It’s the keywords you use when you write your WordPress post; it’s down below the text of your post, below the keywords and tags. Search crawlers look at the metadata for search results, but there’s another level of metadata – social metadata.
Social metadata, like regular metadata, is the background information set on your post that’s used by social sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, to post a preview of the post. In other words, it determines how your post looks when it’s uploaded into your social media outlets.
The article is quite in-depth, giving you step-by-step instructions on how to make sure your posts are perfect when they go social. You couldn’t find this information anywhere else, written so well, with so much usable help.[button url=”http://www.problogger.net/archives/2015/10/22/the-step-by-step-method-to-making-your-content-shareable-on-social-media/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#2f90a1″ size=”5″ radius=”0″]Checkout the Blog Post here[/button] [divider top=”no” divider_color=”#bcbcbc” size=”2″][/divider]
In case you missed them, here are a few of the previous Top 5 Picks!
Top 5 Picks – Dec. 21, 2015
– Social Media Marketing on autopilot, free WordPress login customizer, startAFIRE external links, YouTube Video downloader & a new WordPress podcast
Top 5 Picks – Dec. 9, 2015
– Free project mgmt. software, Free WordPress lead plugin, a quiz app, a blog metrics tool and a free screenshot extension for Chrome
Top 5 Picks – Nov. 30, 2015
– A booking tool, royalty free image site, graphic design tool, Instagram advertising post & a feedback WordPress Plugin