2 Step Verification: Why You Need It & How To Get It

flay desktop with title text with white background


Over the last few weeks, one of my clients and I have been lost in cyber hell. The lovely Vintage Contessa who glamourized your Instagram feed for the last few years had her account hacked and then hijacked. You may remember her from the Women In Biz features last year she was the first! She went to sign in to her account and nothing. Her account was gone along with years of time, hard work, and 13k followers.


Now, in 2020 you would think that this would be a simple matter of contacting Instagram or its daddy Facebook and they would swoop in and save her account from the clutches of these villainous assholes. Immediately went on a search for a contact email or some kind of support. I spent hours just trying to track down an email address, but the many rabbit trails I went down led to nothing. I tried every one I could think of, we filled out a troubleshooting problem forms daily for several weeks and not one attempt was made to contact us back.


When you use a free platform you do it with the understanding that nothing there is yours and they reserve the right to basically do what they want while not offering anything in return. Facebook makes billions from its users but they can’t offer a support line to fix issues like this? It’s not fair, but that is the way it is. Although by far the worst is Facebook/Instagram.


Today, I’m going to show you how to protect your accounts


What Is 2 Step Verification &
How Does It Work?


Wikipedia definition: Multi-factor authentication is an electronic authentication method in which a computer user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism: knowledge, possession, and inherence. In plain old English, it means you need to take 2 steps to sign on so that if someone kidnaps your email they still can’t get into your account because they won’t be able to complete the necessary second step (a text message to your phone, an Application Authenticator APP that you download to your cellphone).


How Do You Set 2-Step Verification Up?


It depends on what platform you’re using, but I’m going to show you how to set up on a few different areas and from there you’ll know the basic steps to set it up in the places that you need them.

Since we were discussing the Contessa’s Instagram account we’ll start there:


Instagram Profile setting screenshot




2-step verification setup for Instagram



Very easy to do even for a novice! The same principle applies to all of your other social media platforms start at your profile and find the security section.


For Your Email Service Provider (Of course, we’re using Mailchimp.
Bonus: If you set up a 2-step verification you get a small discount on your monthly subscription).




screenshot from a Mailchimp


And finally your WordPress website:

The first thing you need it to download the 2 Factor Plugin 

This plugin is easy to set up. After uploading and activating your plugin you’re going to go to USERS>> scroll down until you see the 2 step verification settings. The easiest way to do is to check the email box (see images below).

screenshot of active plugins page


screenshot of 2 step verification set up

You Also Want To Add These Authenticator APPS to your Android or iPhone account.

screenshot of authenticator apps



screenshot of the Google Authenticator app

Bonus Tip:

I love tech all kinds of it, but it can be overwhelming and confusing when you’re trying to keep it all together. I use things like LastPass and ways of keeping track and Trello being another. CAVEAT: I also go old-school and keep things written down. I found an old fashion recipe box and I bought a pack of index cards. Each account gets its own card with the information needed to get into an account in the case of a computer crash or such.

Other Resources:







35 WordPress Hacks That Will ROCK Your World

This post was originally written in 2018, but it was updated Mar. 2020

  • This first one came to my attention after helping a friend create a new website. She was going through her web hosting company every time she signed on to her website. When you want to log in to your website you can type in your URL and then add /wp-admin/ to the end of it and you will be taken to your login page. For instance, to sign on to this site you would go to https://technology-therapist.com/wp-admin/.


  • A page is a static piece of content. It isn’t dated, nor does it show up in any sort of RSS feed. Great uses for pages are your ABOUT page, RESOURCES page, CONTACT page. A post is a dated piece of content that gets pushed out to your RSS feed. It’ll show up in readers. It also is categorized and tagged in your database differently than a page.


  • If you look at the top of your posting page you will see a tab that says “SCREEN OPTIONS” (See image below 1.). There you can decide what you want to see on your posting page. You can change it whenever you like and it includes things like plugins that you may want to use. Such as SEO by Yoast or CoSchedule. You can also choose whether you show an excerpt, you can turn your comments off and on, use the distraction-free writing functionality, turn off sharing buttons, even whether or not you use the featured image.


  • edit-post-the-blogging-911-wordpress


  • The next tab which is the “HELP” tab will give you instructions for writing posts, inserting media, etc. (Image 2)





  • On your posts page if you have “LAYOUT” checked you can decide what kind of page you want to create. On mine, I can use the “Default page” which will be whatever I have checked for your general layout (sidebar, no sidebar, right-sidebar, left sidebar). My other choices are: Archive, Blog page, Category Index, or a Landing Page. You can make any or all completely different from each other. (image 3)





  • You can also choose to make a post or page public or private. You can even make a post or page password protected. Like the resource library for this site. When you sign up for my email list you get a password which allows you access to the resource library.  (image 4).




  • You can also schedule posts in the future in case you are away. (image 5).




  • Write an excerpt (activate it in the post screen option) to customize how your post appears around the web. If you are using an SEO plugin, it’s called the meta description. One difference between the two: The excerpt box will display if you have your blog posts set to an excerpt format, whereas the SEO meta description usually only shows up in Google search results or in places where you share the link (like on social). The excerpt will show up in RSS feeders (if your website is set to only show excerpts).


  • Under the “SETTINGS” tab on the left under “READING” set your how your article looks in a feed to summary and only send out excerpts in your newsletters. If you send the whole thing out no one will have a reason to come to your site. (image 6).




  • You can always change the permalink (URL) of your post by clicking on the edit button right beside the permalink (URL) (image 7).




  • If you want to decide exactly how much text is shown of a post on the front page. Then use the jump break (image 7). It will stop the text and add a read more tag. (#16)




  • Trying to get rid of preformatted text by highlighting and using the eraser button. (image7).
  • The toolbar can do a lot of things quickly as you can see on image 7. I’ve already mentioned two the rest are as follows:
  1. Bold text
  2. Format text (H1, H2 etc. If you are not using these you should be.)
  3. Underline text
  4. Is to justify text
  5. Change the color of the text just highlight the text you want to change and enter the HEX number).
  6. Change the color around the text.
  7. I mentioned above
  8. Insert icons of different things like hearts, diamonds, etc.
  9. Decrease the indention
  10. Increase the indention.
  11. Undo
  12. Redo
  13. A list of keyboard shortcuts.
  14. Show/hide the bottom part of the toolbar
  15. Proofreads your writing
  16. Mentioned above
  17. Break a link
  18. Add a link
  19. Insert text/image to the right
  20. Center the text/image
  21. Left-justify the text/image.
  22. Insert a horizontal line across the page
  23. Quote button to accent parts of your text.
  24. Numbered list
  25. Bulleted list.
  26. Strike through text, example: She is was
  27. Italics.




  • When creating menus you can use not only pages and posts but categories, even external links.  Example: On your menu, you could have a “STORE” and it could take you to another site altogether. Or you could have a tab marked “RECIPES” and have it take you to all of the recipes on your site.


  • Under the “SCREEN OPTIONS” that I mentioned earlier you can set it to show your bio at the end of a post or page. You can change the wording by going to “USERS” & “EDIT”.


  • You need to create an archive page of all of your posts. I use a plugin called “CLEAN MY ARCHIVES” and I only have to place the shortcode [clean-my-archive] and it will post my archives. I also use a plugin called “GENESIS 404” which lets me create my own 404 PAGE (the page someone gets when they type in an error or there is a broken link). On my 404 page is a list of all of my posts so that readers can quickly find what they’re looking for. If you don’t have Genesis then you can go here for instructions on how to create your own Archive index page. If you’re using DIVI you can go to your 404 page and decide where you want to send those who have gotten lost.


  • If you go to “SETTINGS” “DISCUSSION” you can blacklist anyone you want. By simply entering their email. This will prevent them from being allowed to comment. (Trolls & bullies). You can also filter out comments by “trigger” words.


  • Go to “SETTINGS” “READ” to change the number of posts that show up on the front page.




  • Change your media sizes to fit parameters that you choose by going to “SETTINGS” “MEDIA”


  • If you have Genesis you can go to “GENESIS” “THEME SETTINGS” to enable breadcrumbs which are small bits of text showing the reader where they are on the website. If you don’t have Genesis you can use this plugin. Your site can find adjustments for this under APPEARANCE >>CUSTOMIZE.


  • You can upload more than just images to your website such and also Powerpoint presentations, pdfs, word docs, and now Google docs on your website. Just upload them just like an image. Just insert them where you want them with a link.


  • Trying to get images side by side? You can go to Picmonkey and Canva and make a collage or you can simply go to the “TEXT” view and insert the code that fits your needs down below and that will allow you to make columns. There are also plugins that will help you as well. Elementor is a good one, but Divi comes out of the box being to design in columns and rows.


  • What to create columns on your blog post? On your post or page edit screen and click the text view. Use the following instructions to create columns on your Genesis theme. Here is a great list of Columns plugins by Elegant Themes. 

    2 columns

    <div class="one-half first">This is the 1st column</div>
    <div class="one-half">This is the 2nd column</div>

    3 columns

    <div class="one-third first">This is the first column</div>
    <div class="one-third">This is the 2nd column</div>
    <div class="one-third">This is the 3rd column</div>

    4 columns

    <div class="one-half first">This is the 1st column</div>
    <div class="one-fourth">This is the 2nd column</div>
    <div class="one-fourth">This is the 3rd column</div>
    <div class="one-fourth">This is the 4th column</div>
  • Use the WordPress APP to respond to comments, check stats, and even write posts.


  • Use the find link content tool when creating links. When the link box pops up, just hit the arrow and choose “find existing content”. Then you can search or browse your posts for the link.


  • Go to “SETTINGS” “GENERAL” and fill in the first two blanks for your website title and tagline. This is what will show up in Google Search. If you don’t have a logo this will show up in its spot.


  • Fill out the “USERS” profile completely.


  • Change the name of your “UNCATEGORIZED” category to something custom by going to “CATEGORIES” find “uncategorized” click “QUICK EDIT” and change the name to whatever you’d like it to be.


  • Create a FAVICON (the small image at the very top). Mine is the circle at the very top of the screen. You used to have to use a plugin, but now you simply go to APPEARANCE>>CUSTOMIZATION and look under site identity and you will see SITE>>ICON. Go to Canva, Picmonkey (any photo editing APP) and create an image in the size of 512 X 512. You can use your logo just make sure it’s something that is legible. You can change it whenever you’d like.


  • Put a search bar where it is visible on every page. I suggest the top, but sidebar and footer are fine.


  • Put an email sign up form in at least three places on every page. Because there are so many different size devices. Chances are some of them will not show up so it is imperative to have it at multiple points.



  • Stop saying you wrote a blog. It’s annoying. You write a “BLOG POST” on your “BLOG”.


  • Don’t limit your sharing buttons to only the platforms that you’re on. Just because you aren’t utilizing it doesn’t mean that your reader isn’t. You may get new readers from the exposure.


  • When creating a link the rule of thumb is. If it’s a link to somewhere else on your site you shouldn’t open in a new window. If it’s a link to another site then you should definitely check the box that says “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”.


  • Don’t use CAPTCHA it’s annoying and people will avoid it altogether. The WordPress plugin Akismet works great.


Want even more awesome WordPress tips? Check out the infographic I recently created!


Join our community and get this in a downloadable form.



Best & Worst Tools For Running Your Online Business

Each year I am approached by companies wanting me to try their products & services and ultimately share them with all of you. Some have been great additions to my business others have left me disappointed and flummoxed. I thought I would share with you the best & the worst from the past year!

To begin with, I’m going to break it down into 4 categories.

  1. Blogging tools
  2. Social Media
  3. Email Marketing
  4. Running your business

Blogging Tools

As you know (if you have a blog) there is always so much that needs to be done in a short amount of time so anything that I can find that will:

  • Save Time
  • Save Money
  • Improve My Skills

is a Godsend to me. Now, I want to share them with you!

Web Hosting  

I have my own hosting that I provide through Flywheel (owned by WPEngine) which runs $20 a month. We provide fast, secure hosting, free SSL’s, and amazing support. I only have three spots available.

For someone just starting out or on a tight budget I use **Bluehost. I have to say that I have set up hundreds of sites on Bluehost and not once have I ever had a problem. Once upon a time, Bluehost was considered the bottom of the barrel in terms of hosting, but a few years ago they turned it around and I have to say that I’ve been very impressed with how hard they have worked to improve every aspect of their service.


I have always been a Genesis girl and **Studio Press is the place to get the best themes. A few months ago I had the opportunity to work with **Divi by Elegant themes and I have to say that I absolutely love it! It’s so versatile and easy to use and saves me tons of time. There are so many things included that you hardly need any plugins at all!


Listen I know that those sneaky plugins get you where it hurts. I’m sure you have seen the notices in your dashboard ‘get this pro version’, ‘buy this’, ‘do that’.  Nine times out of 10 you don’t need it. There are free plugins for just about anything. My go-to plugins are:

  • Updraft Plus for backing up.
  • Wordfence for security.
  • Jetpack lots of things.
  • Akismet for spam.

If you’re using Genesis then I add:

  • Genesis Enews (optins)
  • Simple Social Icons
  • Simple Social Share

If you’re using Divi

  • Bloom (optins)

All of those are free & if there’s something you want just search the plugin repository.

Free Courses

From WordPress

WP Beginners

Hubspot created a blog post with 60 free online courses that you can take to improve your skills. If you don’t follow Hubspot’s blog you really should. There is always so much valuable information.

Would you like to learn more about Facebook ads? Here’s a great post by Insane Growth that explains it all.

Social Media

Social media is the bane of my existence, but it’s also a necessary evil. I build websites and create content with business tips for bloggers, entrepreneurs & small businesses. I get asked to try a lot of different social media scheduling tool and here is my honest opinion.

**#1 For me is Sendible.com. I run three different websites and manage several clients’ social media accounts. Scheduling blog posts and monitoring keywords that I set up, even monitoring my competitor’s social media accounts. If you run multiple blogs or social media accounts

Sendible is the best.

Most places make you pay per account so for three sites I would have to have three different accounts. I would only be able to pick up one RSS feed unless I had three different accounts.

I could not run my business without Sendible!

Sendible is different. I have a set number of services I can set up and it doesn’t matter how many RSS feeds you pick up and auto-posts new pieces. You can schedule them to repeat however many times it’s all completely up to you. I post to five different FB pages for various people and with Sendible I can do it automatically saving myself lots of time.

Then there is **Tailwind

I love using it for Pinterest.

I know I’m not taking full advantage of the features but what I am using I love. BUT  I don’t like them for Instagram. I tried it I really did, but it was just too confusing and I wasting to much time trying to figure it out.

A few years ago I bought a lifetime membership for Grum.co for only $39 and I love it for scheduling Instagram posts. That’s all it does Instagram, but it’s so easy to use. Unfortunately, they are no longer taking on new customers. If I didn’t have this I would make the time for Tailwind, but this one is just to easy and it’s a lifetime purchase.


I love Co-schedule I really do, but because of the limitations of only having one site on one account, I just can’t justify that expense when I have other options. It offers a boatload of features and it’s easy to use.

There is really no “free” service for scheduling your content. You can use “Publicize” inside your WordPress site and it will automatically post to FB, Twitter, & LinkedIn.

I know that Buffer offers a free version but I’m not sure of its limitations. I’ve always found it too confusing to use.

If you’re going to spend money this is one of the places where I say if you can pay for it then get it. A good social media scheduler can save you loads of time while helping you build your tribe.

Email Marketing

In today’s 24/7, 100mph world if you’re not marketing through email then you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. You should absolutely be sending a welcome email sequence & sending out an RSS to your subscribers.

A few months ago, I was singing the praises of **Engagebay and I learned a very valuable lesson. Sometimes quick decisions can be the wrong decisions. It can send beautiful emails, there are tools for marketing, sales or service. I feel as if it is an excellent platform, but it just didn’t fit my needs. The main problem was the RSS emails. There just wasn’t enough flexibility and I actually sent out a few crazy emails before I gave up.

If you’re running a small business then I cannot recommend Engagebay enough. It’s beautiful, easy to use and handles so many tasks. It’s also affordable. Here is a link to their Youtube channel which has a lot of info about its features. It’s a great platform I just tend to have a problem with change I guess.

So, I’m back at MailChimp and that’s where I’m staying! I know my way around, it’s easy to use (most of the time) and it’s cheap. They have changed things and unless you have a paid account you are limited in what you can do. Such as only having one audience(list), limitations on automation, etc. I pay for The Blogging 911 account and use the free version for Wanding Web Designer & The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver my other two sites. The paid version runs me $9.63 a month.

Have you seen my the MAILCHIMP EXPLAINED ebook in the 911 Resource Library? It’s just one of the many free resources inside.



I’ve worked with ConvertKit before and it is easy to use. I didn’t like the design limitations and figure if I’m going to spend $30 a month it needs to have a lot more.

Running your Business

There are several tools that I use every single day to run my business. Some are free (well most are free) but they are still necessary. Tools such as:

  • 17Hats – is an all-around scheduling tool, lead capture forms, templates such as contracts or estimates. It runs $39 a month for all of its features and there are many. I personally only use the free version because I use the templates & lead capture forms (those project inquiry forms you see around here).
  • Acuity Scheduling – If you need an easy way for people to schedule appointments I highly recommend Acuity. Their free version has always been more than enough for me.
  • Asana – This is my project management tool and it keeps me on track when I’m building out a new site, managing other projects or even just things I need to do. There is both a free and paid version and I’ve always found the free version more than enough for my needs.
  • Canva – There is a free version of Canva that works very well. I use Canva almost every single day and I love it for it’s easy to use dashboard, to the free and paid elements like stock photos, icons, frames, colors, and fonts. For this, I splurge and get the paid version so that I can store my own logos, my fonts (up to 25) and my brand colors for $12.95.
  • Google Drive – Also free. I use it to store all of my clients’ assets. I like how easy it is and it works great with Gmail which is another great free tool. I do use the paid version of this and it runs $6 a month and I have tons of storage and it’s easy to use.
  • One Drive – This is part of my Microsoft subscription which is about $7 a month. This is where I keep all of my assets. (Such as stock images, templates, or other graphics).
  • Dropbox – This is where I store all of the backups for my clients & my own personal websites. This costs around $10 but they’ve added a bunch of new features.
  • Screencast-o-matic – This another thing I purchased from Sumo. It was a lifetime subscription for only $39 and I use it whenever I need to make tutorials or other videos where I share my screen. It’s something I purchased on APPSUMO.
  • APPSUMO – is a great place to find great deals on products or services to run your business! They always have freebies or lifetime deals that will save you tons of time and money.

Know some great tools that I might not know about? Let me know in the comments below.

** Means that it is an affiliate link if you purchase a service, with the (**) beside it, means that I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your cost.


How To Correctly Breath Life Into An Old Post

Fall is fast approaching and for me, that always signals, fresh starts and new beginnings more than the New Year ever could. I guess it’s all the time preparing for new school years that it just seems like the time to put your best foot forward and get to work.

You clean up from Summer fun and get ready for folders and binders, shoes & clothes. I still love opening up a new notebook and imagining the stories and ideas among the lines and white space. New stories to tell, old ones to share, and limitless possibilities for the future.

It’s also time to take stock of how you’ve spent the last year and where you want to improve in the coming new year. As you’re doing that, it’s also a terrific time to figure out how you want your website to grow as well. A great way to do this is by checking your stats & making a plan.

You have a few golden nuggets buried deep in the bowels of your WordPress site that haven’t seen the light of day since Elvis was alive. Okay, maybe not THAT long, but you get my meaning. Maybe you wrote them when you first started out or you’ve figured out another way that the information can be presented or maybe you can solve a different problem altogether.

Well, I’m going to show you how to make those golden nuggets shine with the promise of new life! The first thing you’re going to do is go to your plugin tab on your dashboard and hit “Add new” in the search bar type in “Revisionize” make sure that it is compatible with the theme you are currently running and hit install. You’ll be prompted to activate and then you’re set to go!

After you have installed the plugin you want to go to JetPak back on your dashboard. Go to “Site Stats”. Scroll halfway down and to the right, you will see “top posts & pages” click on summaries and then “all time”. This will give you a list of every post that has been published along with the page views for each individual post.

If you don’t have JetPack or even if you do, you probably have Google Analytics. To check your highest ranking posts there you sign in to your GA account (it’s the same credentials as your Gmail account).  Scroll down the page until you see: What pages do your users visit? Here you can check your most popular posts.

First, go to your top ten posts and make a note of them. When you’ve done that then scroll to the bottom of the list and see which posts were the least performing. They are the ones that you want to work on first. Go into each post and update any changes that have occurred. Things like:

  • technology that has changed
  • a recipe that could be made healthier
  • an image that is old and dated
  • tips that could be added to

Once you have the post ready hit update and then right above the publish button you will now see a button that says revisionize. You’re going to want to click on that. Now, you can either publish it or schedule it for a date in the future. It’s like a brand new post now.

The way revisionize works is that it automatically creates a 301 redirect so that anytime someone clicks on an old link it will automatically take them to the new post. So, if say you had a pin on Pinterest for the original post and someone clicks on it, they will end up right on your brand new post!

I love this plugin and it’s made a huge difference in my page views on my older site TDAC. I did this with the 10 posts that have the least page views. I also went to the top ten and made any changes that I could. Freshened them up.

After, I’ve done that I use my social media scheduling tool SENDIBLE and TAILWIND APP to schedule all of my social media posts for three months at a time. I let the scheduling tool pick the best times and WAH-LAH I am done!


* This post contains affiliate links. I will save a small amount off of my monthly CoSchedule fees if you purchase from the link above.


The Newest In Amazon Affiliate Plugins

If you are an Amazon affiliate you know what a pain in the ass it can be to find the right product, build your link and display it on your site. Then you can’t forget the affiliate notification that each post should contain.

My friend Tung Tran from Cloudliving.com sent me this new plugin and wanted to know what I thought of it. So first, let’s see what its many features are: 


  • Connect to the Amazon Product Advertising API.
  • Search for products by keyword or ASIN.
  • All 11 Amazon store locations are supported.
  • Create affiliate links right within your WordPress post editor.
  • Pull Amazon’s product images directly from API. Never have to worry about losing your account again!
  • You can adjust the width and alignment of any images.
  • Create & insert fully customizable call to action buttons.
  • Display affiliate disclaimer when visistors hover over every affiliate link. This can be turned on/off.

The best part?

It’s completely free.

So if you run Amazon affiliate products on your website and you want a simpler way to find the right products for your niche then I suggest downloading this plugin and follow the instructions for setting up! It doesn’t get easier than that!

You download the plugin HERE  OR you can simply go to plugins section on your website and then click<ADD NEW>. In the search box type in

Affiliate Link Builder Plugin for Amazon Associates – Review Engine

Have tried any good plugins lately? Some not so great ones? Tell us about them in the comments below and we might use them in a future post!


There’s A Plugin For That!

Plugins we all love them and some REALLY love them, either way, they make the life of a website owner-run just a little easier (most of the time).

Although 75% of the time the problems you’re having are probably caused by a plugin conflict, that’s a whole other post. Today is a go-to list of essential and some not-so-essential plugins to give you and your users a good experience.

I’ve divided them up into three sections FOUNDATIONAL, FUNCTIONALITY, & FLASH and then I broke them down into even smaller categories such as BACKUP PLUGINS or SHARING PLUGINS, etc.

Most of the plugins on this list are free, but there are some Premium plugins thrown in just to keep it interesting. In those cases, I will denote that with $$$ after its name.

I’m going to give you my own personal top 5 and in some cases a link to where you can find even more.

So here it goes!

FOUNDATIONAL PLUGINS – By this, I mean plugins that you absolutely have to have to maintain a safe and pleasant experience for both you and your users. These are plugins that you should never do without and the first ones you should install.

The most important is the BACKUP PLUGINS since NOTHING should be done without first performing a backup of your website. NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING!


Backup Plugins

Updraft Plus – This is one I’ve used for years on both my personal and my clients’ websites and I’ve always liked it. It’s fairly easy to set up and it has a plethora of options for where that backup should go.

Backup & Restore w/ Dropbox – This is also a new favorite of mine and I use it whenever Updraft isn’t compatible with the theme I’m working on. I save all of my backups to Dropbox anyway so why not cut out the middleman.

Backup Buddy – $$$ – This is a popular premium plugin, but I’ve never used it and when searching for information I found that for one single site it runs a whopping $ 80.00. I’m not sure what else it does, but for that, I hope it’s A LOT!

Backup WordPress – This is a simple plain jane backup service. It has limited options for deciding where to store the backup, but it’s lightweight and works really well. Some of my clients prefer that I download backups straight to my computer and this one is excellent for that.

BackWPup – This is another great choice in my opinion. It’s light, easy to use and gives you exactly what you need.

Security Plugins

WordFence – I’ve only recently become a WordFence convert and that was because I found myself on their email list and started receiving a newsletter in my inbox about once or twice a week. The thing is I found that is ACTUALLY reading them. I have found so much valuable information that I switched over after being a long time Sucuri Security User. They know their shiz!

Sucuri Security Plugin – Is still one I use quite a bit and I can say I’ve never been hacked, but with the recent removal of the malware scanner on the plugin it’s just inconvenient to go to the remote server scanner. There may have been excellent reasons for this, but I prefer my scan inside my own site.

All-N-One WP Security & Firewall – I’ve only seen this one in action once or twice, but I’ve heard good things about it. With over 500,000 active installs it seems to be doing the job!

iThemes Security (formerly known as Better WP Security) – This is one that I have seen a few times and haven’t heard any complaints. It’s also on quite a few Top (enter whatever number you’d like) Security Plugins blog posts.

WordPress Security by Clean Talk – This is a “Clean” (get it?) plugin that is really light weight. The only downside I can see is that it is so light it doesn’t even include a firewall. You have to also download WordPress Security Firewall as well. What I love about it is that it will tell you where your biggest vulnerabilities are.

Cleanup Plugins

WP Optimizer – This plugin is by far the most popular of the Cleaning & Optimizing Databases arena with over 600,000 active installs. It does exactly what it says. It cleans the database to make it run better. It was unclear if it actually deleted revisions.

Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions – This is the one I use and I love it. Those revisions pile up and the amount of room just one run of this plugin saves is astounding. I run it every month.

Advanced Database Cleaner – This is another all in one cleaner. It has a good reputation with 20,000 active installs. Not every cleanup plugin deletes revisions this one does.

WP Cleanup – This is an all in one that deletes A LOT, although I’m sure that you have options I saw where it could delete “moderated comments” & “Spam”. I understand the spam but why would you delete moderated comments? One of life’s great mysteries I guess.

Optimize Database & Clean Up – Another all in one. It had 7,000 active installs.

SEO Plugins

Seo by Yoast – With 3 Million active installs not only is this the most downloaded SEO plugins, it is one of the most ALL TIME HIGH downloaded plugin in WordPress history. They are the “SEO Whisper”. I have never run across a theme that it is not compatible with plus they offer a TON of free resources and they have a setup wizard that walks you step by step through the whole process.

All-N-One SEO Pack – This one is right up there with the big boys and its name says it all. This is the original SEO plugin and has been around since 2007.

Optin Forms – This is another popular choice. It’s billed to create “stunning” opt-in forms. It sounds like it would be worth a try and with 20,000 active installs and an almost 5-star rating, it’s a good option. Here’s a terrific piece on opt-ins from Authority Hacker called “Opt-In Popups The Good, The Bad & The Ugly“.

SEO Squirrely – Billed as the SEO plugin for the NON-SEO expert. It has 30,000 active installs and a five-star rating.

The SEO Framework – It has a 5-star rating with 20,000 installs. Another good choice.

Analytics Plugins

Google Analytics by MonsterInsight – With a 4-star rating and also over a million + downloads this is a very popular plugin. Easily setup Google Analytics on your site without touching any code. If you can point-and-click, then you can use MonsterInsights.

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – This plugin has a 4 ½ star rating with a million + downloads. A set of general Google Analytics stats, in-depth Page reports, and in-depth Post reports allow further segmentation of your analytics data, providing performance details for each post or page from your website.

Google Analytics for WP – This plugin has only 7,000 + installs, but a perfect 5-star rating. This plugin is open source.

Google Analytics Plugin By Analytify – With over 10,000 downloads and a five-star rating this plugin is growing by leaps and bounds. Google says, “This plugin is extremely powerful because it takes the complex nature and navigation of the Google Analytics dashboard.interface and makes it simple as simple can be. Having what this plugin provides, understandable breakdowns of your site’s traffic is powerful.”

WP Statistics – With over 400,000 active installs and a 4 ½ star rating this is another good choice. It’s a simple plugin that provides its own analytics instead of GA.

JetPack – Is the Big Daddy of stats and about another hundred other things. It covers so many different things it should be in a category by itself. Traffic is the lifeblood of any website. Jetpack includes:
Akismet spam control
Site stats and analytics
Automatic sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, and WhatsApp
Related posts
Brute force attack protection
Downtime and uptime monitoring
Secure logins and two-factor authentication
A high-speed CDN for your images
Carousels, slideshows, and tiled galleries
Simple embeds from YouTube, Google Documents, Spotify and more
Sidebar customization including Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds
Extra sidebar widgets including blog stats, calendar, and author widgets
Email subscriptions
Comment login with Facebook, Twitter, and Google
Fully-customizable contact forms
Infinite scroll for your posts


Email/Subscriber Plugins

Sumome = Is probably one of the most popular opt-in plugins. It offers several options for signup forms, but they are very basic unless you go with the paid version and then they have all kinds of neat tools to work with. Including welcome mats, analytics and more.

MailChimp For WordPress – (Requires an account with MailChimp, but for followers under 2,000 it’s free). This lets you create an opt-in to capture an email address, You then set up a campaign in MailChimp with your RSS feed.

PopUp by Optin Monster – This is one of the most if not THE most popular opt-in plugin. You can create lead generation forms or just have people just sign up for your newsletter.

Caldera Forms – More than just an opt-in form. You can have your cake and eat it too with this one. You can also create contact forms, user registration forms, and more. It has 80,000 active installs.

Popups WordPress Popup – This is a basic pop form that can be styled and triggered at different times.

Social Sharing

Shareaholic – Is another great one. You can design them to easily go with any design. They are also options where you want to place them.

Add To Any Share Buttons – This plugin offers both social follow and social sharing buttons. It’s very popular with 400,000 active installs.

Social Media Share Buttons & Social Media – This is the most diverse social media sharing plugin. It has lots of options and if you don’t what they have you are free to upload your own custom buttons.

Share Buttons by AddThis – A basic social sharing plugin. Register your account to unlock even more options.

Social Warfare – This plugin has over 30,000 active installs and a 4 ½ star rating. This is a very popular plugin. It’s billed as both lightning fast and beautifully laid out.

Contact Forms

Contact Form 7 – It has over 5 million + active installs and a satisfactory rating of 4 ½ stars. It is obviously one of the most popular ones. It’s also open source.

Fast Secure Contact Form – This plugin has over 400,000 active installs and a five-star satisfaction rating. The contact form will let the user send emails to a site’s admin, and also send a meeting request to talk over phone or video.

Ninja Forms – This plugin has over 900,000 active installs and a 4 ½ star rating. Along with Contact Form 7 is one of the top rated and most downloaded.

Form Maker by WD – This plugin has a 4 ½ star satisfaction rating and over 90,000 active installs. Form Maker is a FREE and user-friendly plugin to create highly customizable and responsive forms in a few minutes with simple drag and drop interface.
Form – Contact Forms – Form Builder – WP Contact Form Plugin – This plugin has over 30,000 active installs and a 4 ½ star rating. Contact Bank is an ultimate WordPress plugin loaded with 200 + features and designed to create simple but powerful contact forms easily and hassle free within a few seconds

Social Follow Plugins

Social Media Follow Bar – The Social Media Follow Buttons Bar – is a bar with a set of icons of the popular social media which are linked directly to your profile on this social networks. I.e. clicking the Facebook icon will take the user to your Facebook page, clicking the Twitter icon will take them to your Twitter page. It has over 10,000 active installs and a 5-star satisfaction rating.

Social Media Feather| Social Media Sharing – WordPress Social Media Feather is a lightweight free social media WordPress plugin that allows you to quickly and painlessly add social sharing and following features to all your posts, pages, and custom post types. This plugin has over 100.000 thousand active installs with a 4 ½ star rating.

Feed Them Social – This plugin has over 50,000 active installs and a 4 ½ star rating. They have a lot of great features: It has an impressive list of features some are premium.

Simple Social Icons – This plugin has over 200,000 active installs and they have earned a 4 ½ star rating. This is what I use. It’s very light weight and there are lots of customization.

Simple Social Button – This plugin has 50,000 active installs with a 4-star rating. Simple Social Buttons adds to your posts social network buttons, such as Facebook “Like it!”, Google plus on “+1”, Twitter share and Pinterest Pin it. The plugin is fully customizable. You can decide where to put those buttons:

Comment Plugins

By default, every fresh WordPress install uses the native WordPress commenting system. This is the system you’re probably most familiar with.

Facebook Comments – Facebook comments plugin is a great tool that will allow you to show your visitors Facebook comments on your website. At the same time, this plugin is very useful for improving your website traffic from Facebook. It has 30.000 active installs and a 4 ½ star rating.

CommentLuv – This one is pretty popular comment plugin but I surprised to see it only had 20,000 + active installs and a 4 ½ star rating.

JetPack – Comments (See JetPack Above).

WordPress Social Share, Social Login, and Social Comments Plugin – Super Socializer – There are so many features on this plugin you have to read it for yourself! It’s also absolutely free. It has over 30.000 active installs and a 5-star satisfaction rating.



Photo Gallery by WD – Photo Gallery is an advanced plugin with a list of tools and options for adding and editing images for different views. This is a fully responsive gallery plugin. The product includes a plugin for adding image galleries and albums to posts and pages, as well as multiple widgets. You can add images, provide detailed gallery descriptions and tags, organize the galleries into different photo albums.

Image Gallery – Just add images and videos, write descriptions and titles for each image, choose among 7 incredible views.

NexGen gallery -It’s easy for simple photo galleries, but powerful enough for the most demanding photographers, visual artists, and imaging professionals.

Photo Gallery by Supsystic – With a great number of layouts will help you to create quality respectable portfolios and image galleries. Unlimited photo gallery options allow choosing different designs and styles, which make your photo grid gallery attractive for users.
Gallery by Envira – Envira Gallery allows you to create a beautiful responsive photo gallery and video gallery for your WordPress site in minutes, not hours!


Genesis Responsive Slider – This plugin allows you to create a simple responsive slider that displays the featured image, along with the title and excerpt from each post.

Soliloquy – Slider by Soliloquy allows you to create beautiful responsive image sliders and video sliders for your WordPress site in minutes, not hours!

Slider by WD – Create responsive, highly configurable WordPress sliders with various effects for your WordPress site.

Slide Anything – Slide Anything allows you to create a carousel/slider where the content for each slide can be anything you want – images, text, HTML, and even shortcodes.

Ultimate Responsive Image Slider – Images slider has various settings like customizable height and width, autoplay slides, slide thumbnails, navigation buttons and much more.


Testimonials Widget – Testimonials Widget lets you randomly slide or list selected portfolios, quotes, reviews, or text with images or videos on your WordPress site.

Easy Testimonials – Easy Testimonial is an easy-to-use plugin that allows users to add Testimonials to the sidebar, as a widget, or to embed testimonials into a Page or Post using the shortcode.

Genesis Testimonial Slider – The Genesis Testimonials Slider allows users to add Testimonials to a widget area or to embed theme into a page or Post using the shortcode. The testimonials are custom-posts with author name, content and image. No more loss of data when switching themes.

Testimonial Rotator – Finally a really simple way to manage testimonials on your site. This plugin creates a testimonial and a testimonial rotator custom post type, complete with WordPress admin fields for adding testimonials and assigning them to rotators for display.

Handsome Testimonials – Handsome Testimonials by Ristretto Apps lets you easily display attractive and eye catching testimonials on your site that evokes your customer’s trust, made easy with Handsome Testimonials by Ristretto Apps. Handsome Testimonials by Ristretto Apps gives you, the WordPress user, superpowers with the ability to magically create great looking testimonials right from the get-go.


Portfolio Gallery – Create as many portfolios with as many images, videos, or other items as you want. Choose from among seven, animated and Lightbox-enabled layouts that accommodate HTML and text hyperlinks, as well as custom URLs to point each portfolio to further detail elsewhere.

Genesis Portfolio Pro – Genesis Portfolio Pro will add a new “Portfolio” post type where you can add portfolio entries with images and galleries to show off your visual content.

Portfolio By BestWebSoft – Portfolio plugin is the best way to create and add past projects to your WordPress website. Create, configure and manage an unlimited number of portfolio projects.

Gallery – Flagallery Photo Portfolio – With this gallery plugin you can easily upload images, create music and video playlists, create photo gallery, group pictures in photo slideshow and add descriptions for each image, mp3 or video – Grand Flagallery is the smart choice when showing the best of your product or describing, in brief, any event.

WordPress Picture Portfolio – This free plugin can transform a humble WordPress website into a feature rich media gallery where you can proudly showcase your projects, client logos, photography, or any other pictures or videos of your choice.


WP Recipe Maker – The easy recipe plugin that everyone can use. An easy workflow allows you to add recipes to any post or page with automatic JSON-LD metadata for your recipes. This recipe metadata will improve your SEO and get you more visitors!

EasyRecipe – EasyRecipe makes recipe entry a breeze, with features like cut and paste, auto-conversion of your plain text recipe posts, live custom formatting, Google Recipe View formatting and preview button, automatic ratings, conversion from other recipe plugins like ZipList, RecipeSEO, and Recipe Card.

Yummly Rich Recipes – The Yummly Rich Recipes plugin will make your recipes SEO-friendly and more likely to appear in Google’s Recipe View search. You will no longer need to input your recipes into a specific structure, The Yummly Rich Recipes plugin will do the heavy lifting to make sure your recipes are found online, leaving you with more time to spend creating in the kitchen!

Cooked – Recipes for WordPress – The best way to create & display recipes with WordPress. SEO optimized (rich snippets), photo galleries, cooking timers, printable recipes and so much more. Check out the full list below.

Zip Recipes – Make your recipes SEO-friendly and rank higher in Google’s Recipe View search. No need to hand-code your recipes into a sophisticated recipe structure when the Zip Recipes plugin will do all the heavy lifting for you, enhancing the findability of your recipe website.

Recent/Top Posts

Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails – No huge widget with hundreds of options. This plugin is based on the well-known WordPress default widget ‘Recent Posts’ and extended to display more information about the posts like e.g. thumbnails, excerpts and assigned categories.

Top 10 Popular Posts For WordPress – an easy to use, yet, a powerful WordPress plugin that will count the number of page views of your posts, pages, and any custom post types. You can then display the page view counts as well as display your most popular posts.

WordPress Popular Posts – WordPress Popular Posts is a highly customizable widget that displays the most popular posts on your blog.

Google Analytics Top Content Widget – Adds a widget that allows you to display top pages/posts in your sidebar based on google analytics data.

Category Posts Widgets – Category Posts Widget is a light widget designed to do one thing and do it well: display the most recent posts from a certain category.

Social Media Scheduling

Blog2Social – Automatically share, auto-post, re-publish, re-post and schedule blogs posts to social media: auto-post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, XING, Reddit, Pinterest, Flickr, Medium, Tumblr, Torial, Diigo, and Bloglovin.

CoSchedule -$$$ – CoSchedule is the all in one editorial calendar for content marketing and social scheduling! It keeps you and your team insanely organized and is the first (and only) editorial calendar to integrate with WordPress.

All in ONe Auto Social Marketing – Social all in one plugin is a Smart bot to Manage and Control your social media updates based on proven records and stats in an automated way. From evaluating various stats and info available, it is proven that posting your social network updates at right time gets you more result.

WordPress to Buffer – WordPress to Buffer is a plugin for WordPress that sends updates to your Buffer (bufferapp.com) account for scheduled publishing to social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, when you publish and/or update WordPress Pages, Posts and/or Custom Post Types.

Social Time Master – Social Time Master is a unique social auto-poster that lets you schedule hundreds of social posts with a few clicks of the mouse and preview the posts visually, using a powerful, and easy to use Timeline Interface.

CSS Help

WP Add Custom CSS – WP Add Custom CSS allows you to add custom CSS to the whole website and to individual posts, pages and custom post types (such as Woocommerce products).
The CSS rules applied to the whole website will override the default stylesheets of your theme and plugins, while the CSS rules applied to specific pages, posts or custom post types will override the main stylesheet too.

Simple Custom CSS & JS – Customize your WordPress site’s appearance by easily adding custom CSS and JS code without even having to modify your theme or plugin files. This is perfect for adding custom CSS tweaks to your site.

CSS Plus – The CSS Plus adds a CSS editor field when you are editing a new post. The content is compressed and inserted in the page header allowing each page to have its own CSS code.
With CSS Plus each template page has more possibilities with it’s increased editing power.

Simple CSS – Simple CSS gives you an awesome admin editor and a live preview editor in the Customizer so you can easily add your CSS. Want your CSS to only apply to a specific page or post? Simple CSS adds a meta-box which allows you to do just that.

Visual CSS Style Editor – The plugin allows you customize any page and theme without coding. Click an element and start visual customization. Adjust colors, fonts, sizes, positions and a lot more. Take control of your website with more than 50 styles properties.

Something New & Different

Audio comments for your website – So far this plugin only has 100 + active installs and a 3 ½ satisfaction rating.