My 3 Favored Wordpress Blog Tools For A Social And Responsive Blog
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My 3 Favored Wordpress Blog Tools for A Social And Responsive Blog

In terms of content management systems, there’s really only one that trumps all. WordPress is so easy to use and most of the tools are just plug and go.

That said, it is advantageous to use a test blog before adding a ton of plugins. Especially if your web hosting provider isn’t up to par.

Do you know that unlimited bandwidth is non-existent?

Try installing hundreds of plugins onto your WP Blog, switch on a timer and see how long it takes any shared web hosting to bring your site to crashing halt.

I use try it as an expression only above. Please don’t try that!

Just know that there's no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. It amazes me how hosting providers get away with that sleazy marketing trick.

But - I digress...

Plugins should be used sparingly. My rule of thumb, since I’m on shared hosting is to keep my plugins to around the dozen mark. The less resource intensive it is, the more steady the load time.

You’ll no doubt know that in today’s information grid, the old HTML is pretty much in the wind.

The theme you use must be responsive.

Must being, it’s beneficial because I don’t know about you, but loading an old website on a mobile, having to scroll down, up, and sideways… I find links being clicked and bounced around like I’m on a freaking trampoline.

I don’t want that for my visitors and I’m quite sure they don’t either.

Theme developers have this delusion that because mobile responsiveness is such an important aspect of website design, they can charge an arm and a leg for it.

Problem for them is me telling you that you don’t need to pay their fees.

The one I’m using is the Montezuma theme. Free, just as the twenty-eleven theme that comes with a Fantistico installation as standard and not even that works as well. It’s a bit responsive but not completely. There’s still a few tweaks to be done, and besides, you need something that stands out.

The only thing I would say that plays the Montezuma theme down is a lack of customization. You cannot add fancy logos, opt in forms to headers and the likes, but to get the eyes on your content (as you should be) it does a great job.

Next up, I’ve Josh Spaulding to thank for this one, despite trying to be sneaky and lead to a promotion of Post Amplifier. No harm in that but no thanks either. I can’t stand paying for plugins unless I absolutely think it’s the queen bees knees and I can’t do without it.

The lead up to the release did bring a good video from Josh though, and I now use 2 of the 8 that was mentioned.

Related Posts via Taxonimies and SumoMe.

The first one you don’t need, because the Montezuma theme has that breadcrumb thingy that puts links around your site anyway. I use it because my site is relatively new and I want more than a couple of posts promoted, rather than the one before and the next post only. Just something to consider.

My essentials WordPress power ups though

  1. Montezuma theme
  2. SumoMe
  3. TablePress

Now that last one I’m in love with and I’ll tell you the reason why. It’s just as responsive as the theme I use it on.

It’s absolutely perfect for lists. I’ve used it on my PLR site where I created a table of the top 10 PLR providers and added it into the post using the shortcode it spits out.

Then I thought, hang on – I’ve this affiliate banner for my favourite PLR seller which just looked alone.

I didn’t want to have my visitors feeling that they had only one option there and more like a forced promotional advertisement on them. And if they wanted to find that table, they’d have to dig deep to find the post, or I’d have to remember to add the shortcode to every post.

Not so now though.

You see...

I thought about what would happen by placing a text widget in the sidebar beneath my banner ad, and so it went. Pasted in the shortcode, hit save, refresh the page and the table was there. I thought it would have stretched outside of the theme width and just look totally broken.

To my amazement it worked a treat. Usually I try a stunt like that and it totally breaks on me.

Looks charming though. In my opinion anyway.

So there you have it.

3 free resources to give your blog a makeover

  1. A responsive theme (Montezuma)
  2. Plenty of social options and encouragement to get your content shared (SumoMe)
  3. A responsive table to give your readers options for your top recommendations (TablePress)

What’s your favored WordPress must haves?

PS... If you're wondering what's powering the G+ comments on the site, it's Google+ Comments by Alex Moss. Works a dream!

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