You may have heard this numerous time that behind every successful man, there is a great woman. This quote can relate to blogging except a little change:
Behind every successful blog, there are some great tools.
It is obvious that the main credit of it goes to an industrial team or person who buckled down to develop the blog. But, if you think more closely, the tools or products that helped them to make it also claim a major credit of the victory.
In the years of my blogging, some tools were very so precious that I can not literary express in words. It is not just that a tool is entitled with a price of $59, and it is worth it.
How they helped my productivity and made my blog more useful is actually priceless.
People seem always to wonder how a blog is built or what are the things behind someone is using to run a blog more effectively.
So here I will share the blogging tools I personally use for Blogging Spell. I will give short overviews of them to inform you why do I use them and why you should too.
1. HostGator ~ A web hosting company that you can trust taking your eyes off
I changed my web host couple of times but at last I was able to stick with this company.
HostGator is the hosting provider that I have been using here from the beginning of this blog. I started with them, and they never gave me a single chance to look back on other hosts.
The good thing about them is that their shared servers are powerful, and the up-time is about 100% (though they said 99.9%).
EIG acquired this company around December 2014, and some people reported that it had gotten slow on live support.
Despite the fact, their support is still so helpful as it was before, and I barely need to contact their support team because of their excellent service.
2. WordPress ~ A blogging platform that will make your work way much easier
A lot of blogging platforms are available online, and I even made a list of 7 creative platforms. But among all of them, I found this the easiest and most productive one.
WordPress is an open source platform that has been voted the number one choice for blogging by many well-known publishers.
The best thing about this platform is that they have a ton of themes and plugins in their own repository what you can use to do many critical works at ease.
It has gone so popular that plenty of third-party companies have grown up their business for selling only wordpress themes, plugins and development services, and what you can barely find for any other one.
3. MyThemeShop ~ A premium theme club that will take great care of your on-page seo
It hard is to find such match-made theme provider who’s themes are beautiful to look, coded professionally, care about seo and super fast in speed. But finally this one has all these features.
MyThemeShop is the premium wordpress theme club what I found by searching on Google “fastest seo friendly wordpress theme”.
The best part of their themes is that they are originally optimized for all necessary on-page elements and have schema markup built-in (which is rare but very advantageous for seo).
It was one of the best invest I ever made and wrote a review what I liked and disliked about their themes.
4. CloudFlare ~ A content delivery network that will supercharge your website in minutes
Generally all cdn services are paid but this one is an exception (basic plan is free), and it comes with some integrated fields of optimization.
CloudFlare is mainly a content delivery network, but it also takes care of your website performance and security.
Not just that, if your website is on CloudFlare it is said that your site will potentially have fewer chances to get hacked because of their bad traffic and bot protection.
5. W3 Total Cache ~ A cache plugin that will serve your web pages 10 times faster
Cache is the thing that can hugely improve your webpage delivery and load time. When it comes to wordpress, this plugin is one of the top choices.
W3 Total Cache uses their WPO framework to leverage browser, page, object and database cache to improve website performance. It also supports file minification and internal/external cdn integration.
What I like about this plugin is that it comes with advanced functionality and gives you full control over them. You can test different settings and make it work for your website depending on your website environment.
Bonus: I wrote a detailed guide how you could achieve a stunning speed (almost 10x improvement) using W3 Total Cache and CloudFlare. You can check it out here.
6. WordPress SEO by Yoast ~ A seo plugin that will cut down your seo time by half
It will take a lot of time and efforts if you want to do perfect on-page seo all on your own. In this particular case, this plugin is a life savior.
WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most reputable seo plugin that came for WordPress. It will help you easily add titles, metas, social tags, xml sitemap and so forth.
The good thing about it is that the developer of this plugin “Joost de Valk” keeps this plugin up to the trends and suggest only the best practices.
For an example, if an option in this plugin is said recommended, it will actually advantage your seo.
7. Thrive Leads ~ A list building plugin that you can only imagine in your dreams
Can you imagine a wordpress plugin that will provide you with all list building features at one place? Say yes because that is what ticked my mind.
Thrive Leads is a relatively a newcomer in this industry, but as soon as it was got released, I became a fan of it and totally love their features.
What I found good about them is they have all types of form placements, all kinds of form triggering options, detailed reporting, and A/B testing.
8. Thrive Landing Pages ~ A landing page plugin that will help you build high converting pages
Custom web page building without good knowledge of coding is tough, isn’t it? But for this plugin, you can do it at ease using their drag-and-drop design technology.
Thrive Landing Pages is a complete package for marketing enthusiasts who are concerned to turn his wordpress website into an ultimate marketing machine. It comes as a package of 3 useful products:
- Landing Pages
- Content Builder
- Thrive Lightbox
They have sets of landing pages what you can select, edit using their drag-and-drop editor, integrate with your marketing system and enjoy collecting leads!
9. Digg Digg ~ A social sharing plugin that will convince more and more shares
One thing I noticed in my blog is that official social share buttons tend to get more shares. Maybe this is because they look to be more credible than tweaked or custom buttons.
Digg Digg is one of the very popular social media plugins for wordpress. It comes with official buttons of the social shares and have some good placement like floating left/right, post top/bottom.
The advantage of using this plugin is that they have lazy loading function for buttons. So it will no more affect your site speed if you enable this feature.
10. iThemes Security ~ A security optimization plugin that will nip the hackers in the bud
Security is one of the major concerns of a website. If you are a starter and don’t have the budget yet to try security toughening services, this is the best choice.
iThemes Security (formerly Better WordPress Security) is a free security optimization plugin for wordpress. It has an extended area of optimizations covering server-side files, wordpress dashboard vulnerable, login security and many more.
The best thing about this plugin is that it will analyze your site and give you a step-to-step checklist what to do for the welfare of your site.
So even though you don’t know the ABC of wordpress security, you can still toughen up your site against the hackers using this plugin.
11. WP Review ~ A review plugin that will optimize your products reviews
It could be high or low but if you are a blogger, you are sure to be interested in monetizing your blog. So possibly, you would like to write some product reviews and earn some bucks from affiliation.
WP Review is a good review plugin that will help you add a review box to your post featuring product name, summary, price, features and rating. To say it in a line, it is simply, static and effective.
The best part of this plugin is rich snippet for reviews in Google search results. It is proven that a review implemented with schema.org rich snippet tends to rank higher on search engines than those without.
12. MailChimp ~ A email marketing service that will help you manage your email list effectively
To be said frankly, money is in the email list. Because your email list the one that can help you drive traffic to your product and perhaps, get sales if your subscribers strong enough.
MailChimp is the current email marketing service I’m using. If you wonder why did I choose that, I will be honest with you. It is free for first 2000 subscribe.
When I started this blog, it was not generating enough revenues so that I can invest in a premium email marketing service. So that was the reason.
But if we look at their services, they are very good at what they promise. The pricing is reasonable, email delivery is effective and management is too easy. These are other good reasons to choose this company.
13. CodeGuard ~ A cloud backup service that will keep automated daily backup of your website
Hackers are restless. Your website has chances to get hacked as many giant websites had even though having solid security. So the safest way to protect your site is taking regular backups.
CodeGuard is a very good cloud backup service that I first found from HostGator as a recommendation. You can keep daily cloud backups with them and restore it whenever you wish to.
The best thing about this service is that you connect it to your host, and they will automatically take backups into the cloud. So if anytime your website gets hacked, you can restore the backup from any point.
14. Buzzsumo ~ A brainstorming tool that will help you generate good content ideas
One of the toughest parts of blogging is coming up with new and exciting ideas to write on. But this tool has made it so easier that it was never before.
Buzzsumo is a content analyzing tool where you can search your topic/keyword, find best/most shared content on it and brainstorm your mind to write a fresh article.
If you are struggling to find content ideas, this tool can help you find them saving a great deal of time. Besides that, you can also find key influencers of a niche using this tool.
15. Google Keyword Planner ~ A keyword research tool that will help you find potential keywords
To rank higher and better on search engines, you need to find high potential keywords. This is one of the recommended tools you can use to do that.
Google Keyword Planner is google’s official tool to search keywords, know the competition, estimate audiences and leverage the data.
I remember this is the very first keyword research tool that I ever used. If you are looking for any free tool to research keywords, this is the right choice.
16. Google Analytics ~ A web analytic tool that will keep detailed report of your traffic
For a website, traffic analyzing is same important as traffic acquisition. To make a big approach, you have to know where from your visitors are coming, how they are engaging and what you can do make it even better.
Google Analytics is another very successful tool powered by Google. This is the most widespread web analytics service on the internet.
It has many interesting features such as read time data, acquisition, behavior, conversion, etc. I feel very comfortable with this tool, and I bet so will you.
17. Ahrefs ~ A site explorer that will help you closely analyze your backlink profile
Google counts backlinks as upvotes or endorsements. It matters a lot for seo but due to people’s underestimation, Google is now very picky about backlinks.
Ahrefs site explorer will analyze a site and give a detailed backlink report containing referring domains, subnets, ips, backlinks, anchor, tld and many other things.
Ahrefs has a large index of backlinks which is fairly higher than any other tool. You can use this tool to analyze more backlinks, lead a beautiful link profile and make Google can’t but love your site.
18. SEMrush ~ A competitive intelligence that will demystify your competitors
It was never a bad practice to look into competitors to know how are they working. It will give you an estimate what you can do better to outrank them.
SEMrush is one of the most amazing tools that I ever used. I still wonder how they manage to demystify a website’s ranking data so quickly.
Searching a site on semrush engine, you can reveal on which keywords it is ranking, what are the positions, backlinks, competitors, estimated organic vs. paid traffic and many other things that you can leverage to outrank your competitors.
19. Buffer ~ A social scheduling tool that will let you effortlessly publish on social media
Timing and automation are two key elements of social media marketing if you can properly apply them. This tool can help you achieve that.
Buffer is a social sharing tool where you can associate your social accounts and send or schedule updates to all at a time.
It often happens that you and your audiences are in different regions, and so are the timetables. In this case, you can use this tool to schedule updates to go on a specific time and make the better reach.
20. Adobe Photoshop ~ A photo editor that will help you create irresistible images
Nowadays, images in online marketing can be compared to the butter of the bread, without what marketing starts to lose its own taste.
Adobe Photoshop is the world’s most popular image editing software for windows and mac. I am a big fan of it though and never felt that comfortable in any other software.
If you are new to it, you may need to give a good though to understand the tools first. But I am sure you will definitely love it as soon as you get familiar with it.
21. Grammarly ~ A grammar checking tool that will make your articles more readable
Readability is the biggest achievement and the hardest challenge for a blog. This tool can help you clear the thorny way to better readability.
Grammarly is a grammar checking tool that will proofread your article and suggest corrections for your grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation errors.
The most advantageous use of this plugin is that it comes with an add-on for Microsoft Word. If you write blog posts on Word (I often do), you can keep this add-on running which will suggest writing improvements as you write on.
I wrote a review how this tool can help you make your contents more readable. Do check it to know more about the features of Grammarly.
Note: These are my personal blogging tools and happy to recommend to you. I will keep this list updated. If I make any replacement, I will update it up here.