Email Spam

email spam

Email Spam-the Never ending Cat and Mouse Game

Today – as before – there is plenty of spam on social networks and in other types of online marketing, but most of us probably think of email when talking about spam. If you’re like me, battling email spam is a never-ending game of cat and mouse — tweaking spam filter settings, blacklisting and whitelisting domains, deleting emails that reach the In box, etc.
If your Website is build on the WordPress CMS System and you are using the popular Contact Form 7 Plugin for your Contact Form then here are some additional solutions apart from the build in re Captcha Integration.

First off – Should You use all the anti-spam methods recommended here?

In a word, no. I do NOT recommend that you implement ALL of the methods suggested in this article. A WordPress website should be kept as clean and minimal as possible behind the scenes, and you should not install unnecessary plugins.
Instead, I recommend using trial and error to experiment with these solutions – whether you’re a WordPress expert or a novice.If you need Help with any of these methods please contact me. Track how much contact form spam you receive after implementing one or two methods, and make changes until you are happy. Install Akismet as a starting point, and take it from there.

Using Contact Form 7’s in-built anti-spam measures

You’ll find a lot of articles recommending CAPTCHA and quiz plugins that work with Contact Form 7. Most of these are unnecessary as it’s better to use the features already built into the Contact Form 7 WordPress plugin.


Simple quizzes are becoming a popular way to combat contact form spam. They work by asking the user a simple question such as “Which is bigger, 2 or 8?” Bots can’t answer this question. As a result, only people who enter the correct response can submit the contact form.

To add a quiz, edit your contact form and click the Generate Tag dropdown. Paste the shortcode that appears below into your contact form. It will look something like this:

[quiz capital-quiz "Which is bigger, 2 or 8?|8"]

2. Minimum character count

The WordPress website featured in this article received a lot of spam contact forms with 2-digit messages – usually a number. I have no idea what they were trying to achieve, but it’s obviously a popular type of spam at the moment.

If all your spam messages follow an obvious pattern, you can block them by setting up your contact form to block messages that meet this pattern. In this case, I used the Max and Min Length options in Contact Form 7 to require messages to be more than 20 characters long. Genuine inquiries will usually provide more than 20 characters, so this blocks bots without frustrating real users.

The Message/Comments field will look something like this:

[textarea* your-message minlength:20 maxlength:500]

3. Akismet

Akismet has a reputation as the best WordPress anti-spam plugin. Not everyone knows that it works with Contact Form 7 as well as blog comments.

Once you have activated the Akismet WordPress plugin and followed the on-screen instructions to add your API key (free for non-profit-making website, small monthly fee for business sites), you need to do a bit of extra config to make it talk to Contact Form 7 – see httpss://contactform7.com/spam-filtering-with-akismet/.

In my tests, Akismet stopped about 70% of the Contact Form 7 spam but not all of it. It worked well in conjunction with some of the other solutions mentioned in this article.

4. Contact Form 7 Honeypot

Contact Form 7 Honeypot is a WordPress plugin that adds a hidden field to your contact form. Real users won’t complete it because the field is invisible. However bots won’t know this and will fill it in. This allows the plugin to recognize them as bots and block their submission.

After you have installed and activated the Contact Form 7 Honeypot WordPress plugin, use the Generate Tag option to create a honeypot shortcode to insert into your contact form. It will look something like this (Contact Form 7 recommend changing the ID to something unique, so replace 531 with something else):

[honeypot honeypot-531]


5. Really Simple CAPTCHA

The Really Simple CAPTCHA WordPress plugin was created by the developer of Contact Form 7 so they work together seamlessly. The plugin allows you to add a CAPTCHA to your contact form. It’s designed to prevent bots from submitting forms on your WordPress website.

Once you have installed and activated Really Simple CAPTCHA, insert a CAPTCHA tag into your Contact Form 7 form. (Click the Generate Tag dropdown to see the available options and create a customized tag to paste into your form.) It will look something like this:

[captchac captcha-14]

Further instructions at httpss://contactform7.com/captcha/.

Please note that CAPTCHAs are becoming slightly old fashioned and are not great for user-experience. They also require particular features to be enabled on your server, which may not be in place for your WordPress website.

I would recommend adding a quiz first (see above), and only trying CAPTCHA if this doesn’t work. The two methods basically do the same thing. They prevent automated bots from submitting your website contact form – so you shouldn’t need both.


What worked for me

All WordPress websites receive spam in slightly different ways. What works for one website may not work for another.

When I had to stop Contact Form 7 spam on a WordPress website, I immediately achieved a huge reduction in spam simply by installing Akismet. The spam messages reduced from dozens per day to 5-10.

I fixed the problem completely by combining Akismet with the Contact Form 7 Honeypot plugin, a quiz and minimum character count.

If you just want to add one method to reduce Contact Form 7 spam, then I recommend Akismet. This is the best standalone solution as it’s so powerful and comprehensive. You can use it whether you’re a WordPress expert or a beginner. It can make a real difference to your WordPress contact form spam.


A list of Social Media Sites.

List of social networking sites

Everybody knows the big Social Media Sites such as #Facebook, #Twitter, #LinkedIn, #Reddit or #Instagram, but there are MANY smaller Sites catering for specific Topics.

If you are following a specific topic or are interested in a certain Niche Industry, there might be a Social Network for your Interest.
This list is by all means  exhaustive. If you know of any other Social Media Networks which should be included here please leave a Comment We will add it if suitable. (This list does not contain Dating Social Media Sites.)
(more hyperlinks will be added soon)

NameDescription / FocusRegistration
Academia.eduSocial networking site for academics/researchersOpen
About.meSocial networking siteOpen
AsianAvenueA social network for the Asian American communityOpen
aSmallWorldEuropean jet set and social elite worldwideInvite-only
AthlinksRunning, swimmingOpen
Audimated.comIndependent musicOpen
BeboGeneralOpen to people 13 and older
Biip.noNorwegian communityRequires Norwegian phone number
BlackPlanetBlack AmericansOpen
BusuuLanguage learning community (headquartered in Madrid, Spain)Open
BuzznetMusic and pop-cultureOpen
CafeMomMothersOpen to moms and moms-to-be
Care2Green living and social activismOpen
CaringBridgeNot for profit providing free websites that connect family and friends during a serious health event, care and recovery.[26]Open to people 18 and older[28]
Classmates.comSchool, college, work and the militaryOpen to people 18 and older[31]
CloobGeneral. Popular in IranOpen
CommongroundEnvironmental and property due diligence professionalsOpen
CouchSurfingWorldwide network for making connections between travelers and the communities they visit.Open
CozyCotEast Asian and Southeast Asian womenOpen
CrunchyrollAnime and forums.Open
CucumbertownNetworking for cooksOpen
CyworldGeneral. Popular in South Korea.Open
DailyStrengthMedical & emotional support community - physical health, mental health, support groupsOpen
deliciousSocial bookmarking allowing users to locate and save websites that match their own interestsOpen
DeviantArtArt communityOpen to people 13 and older
Diaspora*Decentralized, user-owned, open source, nonprofit, privacy aware, generalOpen
DisaboomPeople with disabilities (amputees, cerebral palsy, MS, and other disabilities)Open
Dol2dayPolitic community, social network, Internet radio (German-speaking countries)Open
DontStayInClubbing (primarily UK)Open
Draugiem.lvGeneral (primarily LV, LT, HU)Invitation only
doubanChinese Web 2.0 website providing user review and recommendation services for movies, books, and music.Open
DoximityU.S. Physicians and medical doctors.U.S. physicians only
DXY.cnChinese online community for physicians, health care professionals, pharmacies and facilitiesOpen
ElftownCommunity and wiki around fantasy and sci-fi.Open, approval needed
ElloGeneralInvite only while in beta
ElixioBusiness executives jet set and global elite.Invite-only
English, baby!Students and teachers of English as a second languageOpen
Eons.comFor baby boomers and mature internet users age 40 and beyond.Open to people age 40 years and older
eToroSocial investing, financeOpen
Experience ProjectLife experiencesOpen
FacebookGeneral: photos, videos, blogs, apps.Open to people 13 and older
FetlifePeople who are into BDSMOpen to people "of legal age to see adult content"
FilmAffinityMovies and TV seriesOpen
FilmowMovies and TV seriesOpen
FledgeWingEntrepreneurial community targeted towards worldwide university studentsOpen to university students
FlixsterMoviesOpen to people 13 and older
FlickrPhoto sharing, commenting, photography related networking, worldwideOpen to people 13 and older (Yahoo! Login)
Focus.comBusiness-to-business, worldwideOpen to people 13 and older
FotkiPhoto sharing, video hosting, photo contests, journals, forums, flexible privacy protection, friend's feed, audio comments and unlimited custom design integration.Open
FotologPhotoblogging. Popular in South America and SpainOpen
FoursquareLocation based mobile social networkOpen
FriendicaDistributed, federated, privacy aware, open source, generalOpen
FuelmyblogBlogging communityOpen
FyuseA spatial photography app and website which lets users capture and share interactive 3D images.Open
Gab.aisocial networking service created as an alternative to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.Open
Gaia OnlineAnime and games. Popular in United States, Canada and Europe. Moderately popular around Asia.Open to people 13 and older
GamerDNAComputer and video gamesOpen
Gapyear.comTravel social networkOpen
Gather.comArticle, picture, and video sharing, as well as group discussionsOpen
Gays.comSocial network for LGBT community, guide for LGBT bars, restaurants, clubs, shoppingOpen, global
Geni.comFamilies, genealogyOpen
GentlemintCommunity for sharing and discussing all things manlyOpen
GetGlueSocial network for entertainment.Open
GirlsAskGuysCommunity where people help each other by sharing their experiences & opinions.Open
GogoyokoFair play in music - social networking site for musicians and music lovers.Invite only while in beta
GoodreadsLibrary cataloging, book lovers.Open
GoodwizzSocial network with matchmaking and personality games to find new contacts. Global, based in France.Open
Google+GeneralOpen to people 13 and older [120]
GovLoopFor people in and around government.
GrindrFor gay and bisexual men.[122]Open
HabboGeneral for teens. Over 31 communities worldwide. Chat room and user profiles.Open to people 13 and older
hi5General. Popular in Nepal, Mongolia, Thailand, Romania, Jamaica, Central Africa, Portugal and Latin America. Not very popular in the United States.Open to people 13 and older.
Hospitality ClubHospitalityOpen
HotlistGeo-social aggregator rooted in the concept of knowing where users' friends are, were, and will be.Open
HR.comSocial networking site for human resources professionals.Open
Hub CultureGlobal influencers focused on worth creation.Invite-only
IbiboTalent-based social networking site that allows users to promote themselves and discover new talent. Most popular in India.Open
Identi.caTwitter-like service popular with hackers and software freedom advocates.Open
Indaba MusicOnline collaboration for musicians, remix contests, and networking.Open, global
InfluensterOnline product sampling and review platform.Open, global
InstagramA photo and video sharing site.Open to anyone 13 or older
IRC-GalleriaFinlandOpen to Finnish speaking people 12 and older
italkiLanguage learning social network. 100+ languages.Open, global
ItsmyMobile community worldwide, blogging, friends, personal TV-shows
JaikuGeneral. Microblogging. Owned by GoogleOpen to people 13 and older
JiepangLocation-based mobile social network. In Chinese languageOpen
Kaixin001General. In Simplified Chinese; caters for mainland China usersOpen to the general public
KiwiboxGeneral.Open to people 13 and older
LaiBhaariMarathi social networkingOpen
Late Night ShotsMessage boards, member profile pages, spotting other membersInvite-only
LibraryThingBook loversOpen to people 13 and older
LifeknotShared interests, hobbiesOpen to people 18 and older
LinkedInBusiness and professional networkingOpen to people 14 and older[168]
LinkExpatsSocial networking website for expatriates. 100+ countries.Open, global
ListographyLists. AutobiographyOpen
LiveJournalBlogging. Popular in Russia and among the Russian-speaking diaspora abroad.Open (OpenID)
LivemochaOnline language learningOpen
Meetup (website)General. Used to plan offline meetings for people interested in various activitiesOpen to people 18 and older
MeetthebossBusiness and finance community, worldwide.Open
MillatFacebookGeneral, created in response to Facebook [180]Open
MindsFree, open source, decentralized, and based on a foundation of transparency and privacyOpen
MocoSpaceMobile community, worldwideOpen to people 14 and older
MOGMusicOpen to people 14 and older
MouthShut.comSocial network, social media, consumer reviewsOpen
MubiAuteur cinemaOpen
MyHeritageFamily-oriented social network serviceOpen
MyspaceGeneralOpen to ages 13 and older.
Nasza-klasa.plSchool, college and friends. Popular in PolandOpen
NexopiaCanadaOpen to people 13 and older [201]
NingUsers create their own social websites and social networksOpen to people 13 and older
OdnoklassnikiConnect with old classmates. Popular in Russia and former Soviet republicsOpen
Open DiaryFirst online blogging community, founded in 1998Open to people 13 and older
OUTeverywhereGay/LGBTQ communityOpen
PatientsLikeMeOnline community for patients with life-changing illnesses to find other patients like them, share their data with others, and learn more about their condition to improve their outcome.Open to people 13 years and up
PartyflockDutch virtual community for people interested in house music and other electronic dance music.Open to people 18 years and up
PingstaCollaborative platform for the world's internetwork expertsInvite-only, only Internet experts
PinterestOnline pinboard for organizing and sharing things you loveOpen
PlayfireComputer and video gamesOpen to people 13 and older
Playlist.comGeneral, musicOpen to people over 13
PlurkMicro-blogging, RSS, updates. Very popular in TaiwanOpen
PoolwoSocial networking site from IndiaOpen
QuoraQuestions and answersOpen
QzoneGeneral. In Simplified Chinese; caters for mainland China usersOpen to the general public
RaptrVideo gamesOpen
RavelryKnitting and crochetOpen
RenrenSignificant site in China. Was known as 校内 (Xiaonei) until August 2009.Open
ReverbNation.comSocial network for musician and bandsOpen to people 16 and older
Rooster TeethSocial network and community siteOpen to people 13 and older
ScienceStageScience-oriented multimedia platform and network for scientistsOpen
ShareTheMusicMusic community. Sharing and listening to music free and legallyOpen
Sina WeiboSocial microblogging site in mainland China.Open
SkoobCollaborative social network for Brazilian readersOpen
SkyrockSocial network in French-speaking worldOpen
SocialVibeSocial network for charityOpen
Sonico.comGeneral. Popular in Latin America and Spanish and Portuguese speaking regions.Open to people 13 and older
SoundCloudRepository of original music pieces and networking.Open
SpacesRussian social network targeted to mobile phone usersOpen
Spot.IMA service for webmasters to add social networking functionality to their websitesOpen
Spring.meSocial network for meeting peopleOpen to people 13 and older
Stage 32US-based social network and educational site for creative professionals in film, television and theater
StreetlifeUK based. Links members according to where they liveOpen
StudiVZUniversity students, mostly in the German-speaking countries. School students and those out of education sign up via its partner sites schülerVZ and meinVZ.Open
Students Circle NetworkA social network connecting students, teachers and institutions to course resources, study groups and learning spaces.Open
StumbleUponStumble through websites that match users' selected interestsOpen
TalkbiznowBusiness networkingOpen
Taringa!General (primarily Argentina)Open to people 13 and older
TermWikiLearning / languages / translation - 1.2 million terms in more than 1300 subjectsOpen
The SphereA private online social luxury network with exclusive personalized servicesInvite-only
Trombi.comFrench subsidiary of Classmates.com
TuentiSpanish-based university and high school social network.Open
TumblrMicroblogging platform and social networking website.Open
TwitterGeneral. Micro-blogging, RSS, updatesOpen to all ages [286]
TyltedMobile social game network[288]Open to people 14 and older
UntappdBeer check-in social network.[291]Open
VKGeneral, including music upload, listening and search. Popular in Russia and former Soviet republics.Open
Vampirefreaks.comGothic and industrial subcultureOpen to users 13 and over
ViadeoGlobal social networking and campus networking available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and PortugueseOpen
VirbSocial network that focuses heavily on artists, including musicians and photographersOpen
WattpadFor readers and authors to interact and e-book sharingOpen
WAYNTravel and lifestyleOpen to people 18 and older
WeeWorldTeenagers - 9 to 17Open to ages 10 and older.
We Heart ItImage-based social network focused on inspiration, expression and creativityOpen
WellwerCommunity without borders, where sharing is everything.Open to people 13 years and older
WooxieBlogging and micro-bloggingOpen
WriteAPrisoner.comSite networking inmates, friends, familyOpen to people 18 years and older
XangaBlogs and "metro" areasOpen
XINGBusiness (primarily Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland))Open
Xt3Catholic social networking, created for World Youth Day 2008Open
YammerSocial networking for office colleaguesMust have company email
Yelp, Inc.Local business review and talkOpen
Zoo.grGreek web meeting pointOpen

Most Used WordPress Plugins I use

I have been working in WordPress as my primary platform for the last 3 or 4 years. I’ve tried out probably hundreds of plugins, but there are some that I go to over and over for various needs of my clients’ sites and my own. Here’s a list of my most-used WordPress plugins.Most have free Versions with an Option to upgrade to a more professional Version with enhanced Features. Often the Free Version is sufficient to use on personal or small Websites.

Activity Log

WordpressActivity log Plugin

When you are responsible for updates to a client’s website and they also have access to do updates, it can be a lifesaver to have a log of what was done on the website and by whom. This plugin adds a menu item in your WordPress control panel. Just click on the Activity Log tab and you have instant access to logins along with a description of what was done. Data includes IP address and login username. Interestingly, it also records all attempted logins so you can quickly see how many times hackers have tried to gain access, along with what username they tried to use (hint: never use admin or administrator as a username). You can also set up email notifications if you want to be informed of certain actions on your website. You can’t beat that the plugin is free, well supported, updated often, and doesn’t slow down your website. Just install it, activate it, and you’re good to go!


AkismetIf you have comments enabled, it quickly becomes pretty impossible to live your life without Akismet. In fact, WordPress includes it automatically with your WordPress installation, ready for you to activate it. Akismet keeps tabs on all comments and does an exceptional job of weeding out spam comments from legitimate ones. You can choose to let the plugin delete the most obvious spam comments without any further interaction, or to leave them in a spam box for you to review before deleting or approving them. I’ve had some websites with blogs that receive thousands of spam comments a day. It would be humanly impossible to keep up with all of them, so I highly recommend this plugin. You’ll need to sign up with an Akismet.com account and obtain an API key to use it, but it’s worth the effort. If your site is a personal one, it’s free (contributions are encouraged). Or if you are running a business website, you can pay for the features you want on their website – pricing ranges from $5/month for a single site up to $50/month for unlimited sites.


WordPress Backup BuddyBackupBuddy is a plugin available from ithemes.com. The price ranges from $80/year for two websites up to $297 for a one-time fee for unlimited websites, with varying price ranges in-between. There’s a lot I can say about this plugin. It makes it easy to migrate your WordPress website from one server to another and helps with changing all the links if you’re changing your URL. You can do one-time backups as needed, but you can also schedule regular backups of either your database, or your database and all files. BackupBuddy zips your backups and allows you to store the backups either on your server or on cloud services you subscribe to like Amazon Web Services, Google Drive, or Dropbox. They also provide storage if you need it through their BackupBuddy Stash service. You get 1GB of Stash storage for free, and you can pay for additional space. BackupBuddy also has a few other added benefits like email notifications, individual file restore, server tools that tell you what your hosting configuration settings are, malware scan, database mass text replacement, and database scan and repair.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder Review

Beaver Builder has become my favorite page builder plugin, and believe me I’ve tried many of them including WPBakery’s Visual Composer, Divi Page Builder from Elegant Themes, and Cornerstone from Themeco. Each one of these builders has positives and negatives and I won’t get too in the weeds about this – someday I’ll do a review comparing all of them. But Beaver Builder has the most intuitive interface IMHO and with one price (I got the $199 Pro version which includes the Beaver Builder theme) you have the rights to use it on as many installations as you want with 1 year of support included. There’s a very large, friendly usergroup where you can get help if you get stuck. It comes with lots of Beaver Builder Layouts to get you up and running quickly; with just a click you have a fully populated page you can begin to customize. If you have a client who wants to update their own content after you build their site, Beaver Builder will probably be the most easy for them to understand and use. When a colleague suggested Beaver Builder, I laughed because the name sounds kind of kid-like or unprofessional, but this is a serious, powerful WordPress page builder – seriously! Check it out, then come back and thank me. No, this is not a paid endorsement. I get nothing from Beaver Builder by saying how great they are.


CSSHeroCSSHero adds a small control panel to pages while you’re logged in to your WordPress site. It allows you to select elements on your page and modify any of the element’s corresponding CSS attributes without knowing CSS code. It makes the changes for you and saves them so your changes are live on the site. When I first made the transition from building in Dreamweaver, it was confusing to me knowing which selector controlled which CSS properties. CSSHero was helpful, not only in getting the job done, but in teaching me how to do it myself. I don’t use CSSHero very often now, but there are still occasions when I’m stuck on something, when I’ll install it and it helps me quickly customize an element I need help with. One issue with CSSHero I was disappointed with is that it works only with select themes (many of which I use), and also if you’ve created customized areas within your site, it won’t let you edit those with their tool. Pricing ranges from $29/year for one site up to $199/year for up to 999 sites.

Duplicate Post

Duplicate Post WordPress PluginDuplicate Post is a simple, free plugin that does one thing well. It makes it easy for you to duplicate pages and posts. Just install it, activate it, and suddenly you have a new option [CLONE] when you hover over your page or post title listings. Click it and you’ll have a duplicate page in your page listings with the same title but in draft mode. Just change the title, change the slug, and start making the changes you need. It’s a convenient way to create a new page when the layout is the same or similar as another, saving you the hassle of starting from scratch on a new page.

Google Analytics by Monster Insights

Monster Insights Google AnalyticsFormerly Google Analytics by Yoast, Monster Insights Google Analytics plugin allows you to quickly and easily add your Google tracking code to your website. Just install and activate the plugin, link it with your Google Analytics account with their step-by-step easy interface, and you’re all set to begin tracking the visitor information that’s important to you. You can see the most important visitor stats right in your WordPress control panel. And isn’t their logo cute? I wanna take little MI home with me and keep him around for all the times I need more insights!

Gravity Forms

Gravity FormsIf I’m working on a website that needs anything beyond the standard contact form, I use Gravity Forms. With Gravity Forms, I can quickly configure complex forms with multiple types of data collection. It has numerous add-ons that allow you to use it with MailChimp, AWebber, iContact, Dropbox, etc. It allows you to easily build polls and quizzes. It lets you create order forms that tie in with several different payment gateways – I’ve used it to receive payments through Authorize.net and PayPal. It lets you use coupon codes with ease. There are some really cool features like letting site visitors fill out a signature with their mouse or iPad to authorize the form. It’s also very easy to create multi-page forms with Gravity Forms. Some of the add-ons are only available by purchasing the developer license, which is $199, but it’s well worth the price. Even if you just need a basic form processor with no crazy features, paying $39/year for their personal license is well worth it. I’ve needed to get support a few times and their support team was quick to answer and provide the solutions I needed.

NextGEN Gallery Plus by Imagely

NextGEN Gallery ReviewI’ve bought the NextGEN Plus plugin by Imagely and have used it on quite a few websites for clients who need to show off their photos. NextGEN has a huge array of layout choices including mosaic, masonry, filmstrip, thumbnail galleries, and slideshows. It’s easy to get the look you want by adjusting settings and all the layouts work beautifully with responsive design. Some of the features include bulk image uploading, image resizing, custom thumbnails, watermarking, and even proofing galleries and the ability to sell photos and digital downloads through Stripe and PayPal. They have lots of demos to look through to find the layout you’re looking for and they’ve provided quick support when I’ve needed help. NextGEN Plus is $49/year for use on as many websites as you want.

Popup Maker by Daniel Iser

Popup MakerSeveral of my clients have requested content to be shown in popups, and this plugin does everything I’ve needed it to do and more. There’s a WYSIWYG content editor that allows you to embed shortcodes and optin forms easily, with integration with MailChimp, Constant Contact and many more. You can even use it with Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, and Contact Form 7. You can target certain pages of your site or the whole site. They have a theme builder that makes it easy for you to customize the look of the popups to get exactly the look you need. Popups can open on click or automatically by timer and you have control over the position and size of your popups, as well as animation.

Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin

Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin

When you move your site from one domain name to another or change page names, it’s essential to set up 301 redirects so you don’t confuse visitors who click on old links. Also, your webpage accumulates “SEO juice” that you don’t want to lose by changing a page’s location. 301 redirects allow you to make the changes you need to in your site structure without hurting your site’s ranking. This plugin makes it easy to set up these redirects, and it’s free!

Slider Revolution

Slider RevolutionEVERY client still wants sliders on their home page (I know – let’s not even go there). Admittedly, they are pretty. When I need a slider, I use Slider Revolution. It can be a little daunting to learn because there are so many options, but they do provide lots of ready to use themes you can customize. Their latest feature is the Whiteboard add-on – you know, the hand that holds a pen that animates your message. I’m kind of anxious to try that but haven’t had a client request the feature yet. Slider Revolution is $19 per website and includes one year of updates and support for that price.

Smooth Scroll Up

Smooth Scroll UpSmooth Scroll Up does one thing well. When you’re building a website whose theme doesn’t include the little arrow at the bottom of the screen that allows the visitor to jump back up to the top of the page, this plugin lets you quickly and easily add one. You can adjust the position, use a custom image if you want, enable or disable on certain pages, use different animations, and use your own custom css. It works equally well on desktop, tablets and smart phones. Seriously, why strand your site visitors at the bottom of your page?

WPBakery Visual Composer

Visual ComposerThis is the momma of all page builders, at least as far as I know. It’s the first one I used a few years ago when transitioning from Dreamweaver built sites to WordPress. It has a ton of features and is pretty easy to use. It works with just about any theme or your own custom built theme. There isn’t much that it can’t do. My biggest drawback is that it’s $34 per website per year. When you build tons of websites each year, it gets pricy. I usually only use it now when it comes with a theme I’m working with. I love working with Visual Composer – I just think it’s overpriced.

WP Google Maps Pro

WP Google MapsWhen I need to add a map to a WordPress website, this is my first choice. I’ve tried multiple map plugins, including the ones that come with many different themes and most of the time I switch to using this one even when the theme includes one because WP Google Maps just works better and lets you add multiple locations easily. There’s a free version for people with basic needs, but there are a lot of other great features with the Pro version, such as custom markers, a directions popdown window, and a cool store locator feature. I’ve used it for a church that wanted to list over a dozen home groups so members could easily find which home group was near them. It allowed me to create a user selected filter so the visitor could easily find home groups with child care or home groups for women only, etc. It lets visitors share their location so they can find the location nearest to them. The Pro version is only $39 for use on up to 3 sites and that’s all you’ll pay forever. How can you beat that? Well, I beat it by getting the developer bundle. I paid $99 and I can use it everywhere I want to forever. Don’t be jealous.


WP-OptimizeI develop my sites online on a development server. By the time I’m ready to take the site live, often there are dozens or even hundreds of revisions to a site’s pages. WordPress keeps all those revisions in its database so you can roll back your page to any date and time you want. That’s a cool thing to have while you’re developing but not so cool once your website is done and you’re ready to wipe the slate clean. WordPress doesn’t provide an automatic way to clear out your revision history, but this free plugin gives you an easy way to do it, making your database lighter and avoiding problems. It also lets you get rid of unapproved and spam comments, and lets you keep data for a time period you specify, like if you want to get rid of all but the last one or two weeks. The plugin author warns you to use it with caution, and I do, but I’ve never had it delete anything I wasn’t happy to wave goodbye to. It does the job well and with ease.

WP Super Cache

WP Super CacheWordPress websites have a lot of working parts. If the server is required to build your website from all the PHP processes each time the visitor visits your website, you’re going to have a slow website and you’ll risk losing search engine ranking. Caching plugins create temporary HTML files that get served to site visitors so the server doesn’t have to work so hard. WP Super Cache is one of many caching plugins but in my opinion, this one works the best and is the easiest to use. The settings don’t require an engineering degree to figure out. I host my clients’ websites on GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting and they include caching as part of their package. In fact, I can’t even install caching plugins on these sites because GoDaddy won’t allow it – it causes problems if you try to run more than one caching solution simultaneously. But for websites I manage for clients who host their sites on other platforms, I install WP Super Cache.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEOYoast SEO is a free, great tool for taking care of some of the basic SEO needed for typical websites. It works like a wizard to let you know on each page how to improve your page’s score, giving you a green light, yellow light, or red light based on a number of different elements you should optimize for improvements. It’s giving you an education in SEO while it’s helping you do your job, which is great for people learning how to optimize their web sites for search engine placement. The plugin works on a page by page basis, and also there are settings that are important on a whole website basis, like getting your site linked to Google webmaster tools, Bing, creating XML sitemaps for you to submit so your site gets crawled properly, making sure your robots.txt and .htaccess files are set up correctly, taking care of your permalinks, post titles, and meta descriptions. It’s a valuable tool that I wouldn’t want to forget to install and properly configure for my clients. There’s a paid version for people who want more advanced help for only $69 per website per year.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.