Welcome to another exciting episode of AskBen! In today’s episode, we’re diving deep into the world of WordPress plugins and exploring the top choices that can take your niche blogs to the next level. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting your journey, you’re sure to find valuable insights in this episode.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN IN THIS EPISODE:
- A breakdown of the essential plugins that can supercharge your blog’s performance.
- Tips and tricks for selecting the best plugins tailored to your niche.
- Real-world examples of how these plugins have transformed niche blogs.
- Expert recommendations for getting the most out of your WordPress plugins.
- Pro tips, like how to get WordPress plugins with huge discounts.
LINKS AND NAMES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Easy Table of Contents
- Ultimate Blocks
- LiteSpeed Cache
- Rank Math SEO
- Site Kit by Google
- Contact Form 7
- Paddle WP
- Pixel Cat Lite
- Thrive Architect
- Thrive Leads
- Thrive Optimize
- WP Meta and Date Remover Pro
- WP File Manager
THIS EPISODE SPONSOR:
This episode is brought to you by Hostinger. We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Hostinger for their support in making this episode possible. Hostinger is the hosting solution we highly recommend for niche website owners. They provide fast loading times, the latest security technologies, all while remaining incredibly affordable.
If you use our personal link bensexperience.com/goto/hostinger, you’ll gain access to three hours of dedicated assistance from me. Whether you need help selecting a niche, finding the right keywords, or building valuable backlinks, I’m here to guide you every step of the way.
To take advantage of this offer, simply use my personal link and get your hosting plan. Afterward, reach out to me through the contact page on my blog.
A QUESTION FOR ME?
Do you have a burning question about online business, niche blogging, or any topic related to our podcast episodes? Send your question via my contact page, and you might just get featured in one of our upcoming episodes.
Hello and welcome to AskBen, Episode Number 2. I'm your host, Ben, and today's episode is a little different. It's a question I'll be answering myself because, well, I don't have an audience yet. But I hope to have one soon. Before we dive into today's topic, I'd like to take a moment to thank our sponsor, Hostinger. If you're a niche website owner like me, Hostinger is the hosting provider I highly recommend. They offer fast loading, top-notch security, and it's all very affordable. Plus, if you use my personal link at bensexperience.com/goto/hostinger, you can reach out to me for three hours of personalized assistance on anything related to niche websites, from choosing your niche and keywords to writing content and building links. So, don't miss out on this opportunity. Alright, let's get started with today's topic. After brainstorming all the WordPress plugins I use for my niche websites, I've come up with a list of 21 plugins. Now, keep in mind that you don't need to install all of these on the same website as it could slow your site down. The order in which I discuss these plugins is random, so let's jump in. 1) Easy Table of Contents The first plugin on my list is Easy Table of Contents. This plugin enhances the user experience for readers on my affiliate websites. It automatically creates a small contents table, similar to what you might find on Wikipedia pages, by utilizing the h1 and h2 headings. This feature often leads to additional links under my site's description in Google search results. It also helps me create jump links in comparison tables for readers who want to explore a specific product in more detail. Moreover, Easy Table of Contents enhances the overall user experience by giving readers a clear overview of what the page covers. 2) GenerateBlocks 3) Ultimate Blocks and 4) Spectra Next, we have a trio of plugins, 2) GenerateBlocks 3) Ultimate Blocks and 4) Spectra. I group them together because they complement each other in achieving the same goal. These plugins help me create buttons for affiliate links, design boxes with various background colors to improve readability, and add features like click-to-expand sections. They're versatile tools that enhance the visual appeal and functionality of my content. Spectra is another plugin I rely on. It contributes to creating engaging content by offering ways to display information effectively. With Spectra, I can present data, features, or comparisons in an appealing format, making it easier for visitors to understand and make informed decisions. 6) Hotjar Our next plugin on the list is Hotjar. I can confidently say that this plugin is one you absolutely need to start using because it's incredibly useful. For those of you who may not be familiar with Hotjar, it's a comprehensive suite of tools designed to help you track how visitors engage with and navigate your website. These tools include Hotjar Recordings and Hotjar Heatmaps. What I personally rely on daily is Hotjar Recordings, especially during the initial stages when visitor numbers are still relatively low. This tool provides me with invaluable insights into the behavior of visitors to my affiliate websites through video recordings, somewhat similar to security cameras footage. Beyond recording the date, time, device, and country of each visitor, it also furnishes data on whether the visitor arrived directly or via search engines, specifying the search engine used. In many instances, after joining an affiliate program, I've been able to watch video recordings of the affiliate manager exploring my website and visiting pages like "About Me" or "Contact." I highly recommend that you start using this plugin. They offer a free trial period, lasting two weeks I think. Following that, should you wish to eliminate certain analytical limitations, there is an option to subscribe for a fee. Personally, I find that the features available in the free basic plan are sufficient for my needs. Aside from Hotjar Recordings, my second most frequently used tool from Hotjar is Hotjar Heatmaps. With this tool, you select one of your website's pages, and it displays user engagement using a color-coded system of red, yellow, and green. This visual representation highlights areas where visitors express the most interest on your page. Analyzing this data is immensely beneficial, as it helps me identify which products resonate most with my readers, guiding my content strategy. It also helps me determine what to keep and what to remove from my reviews. In fact, I recently published a review of this tool on YouTube. You can easily find it by searching “Hotjar review bensexperience”. 7) LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache is a performance-enhancing plugin that I use to make my websites load faster. It achieves this by optimizing images and utilizing cache technology. The added bonus is a convenient cache purging button that appears when I'm logged in, allowing me to see modifications I've made without having to use the incognito mode on the browser or delete cache from settings. 8) NicheTable Moving on, the next plugin on my list is NicheTable. This is the tool I rely on to craft comparison tables that appear at the top of my round-up review articles. Now, you might be wondering why I've stuck with this particular plugin among the myriad of table plugins available. Well, it all comes down to its exceptional responsiveness on mobile devices. I’ve used the word "exceptional" in terms of responsiveness because the tables it generates for mobile users are notably more user-friendly compared to many other table plugins out there. Describing this concept in audio can be a bit tricky, but let me clarify. While all table plugins may look identical on a computer screen, their behavior varies when you resize the browser window, to emulate mobile devices. In some cases, these tables hide the products you're promoting (starting from the second one), forcing visitors to use a horizontal slider to view them. This can be frustrating for people browsing on their phones. However, the tables created by NicheTable don't present this issue for mobile visitors. They adapt seamlessly to different screen sizes, ensuring that your promoted products remain easily accessible and visible. So, if you're concerned about providing a smooth user experience for your mobile audience, NicheTable is definitely worth considering. 9) Rank Math SEO The next plugin on this list is Rank Math SEO. Now, I can't recall the exact reason I made the switch from the widely-known Yoast SEO plugin. However, I believe it a result of encountering some technical issues that the Yoast team wasn't able to address fast enough. What I particularly appreciate about the Rank Math SEO plugin is its user-friendliness compared to Yoast SEO. It's easier to navigate and configure, making it a preferred choice for me. Additionally, Rank Math SEO boasts an active team that consistently updates the plugin, ensuring it stays current with the latest SEO trends and developments. One standout feature I love about Rank Math SEO is a clever trick that allows me to maximize my real estate in Google search results. This trick is especially handy in highly competitive niches like VPN and finance, where even minor differences in search results can be significant. To give you some context, this valuable tip is one of the things I've learned from paid courses, specifically the Authority Hacker course, which now carries a price tag of over $1000. So, here's how you can use Rank Math to expand your real estate in Google search results: . Within the Gutenberg editor, go to the end of your page. . Type "/faq" and select the block named FAQ by Rank Math. . Create two frequently asked questions and provide answers to them. These FAQ titles will be displayed under the page description in the search engine results pages (SERP). Here's another pro tip: In one of these two questions, formulate it in a way that necessitates including your affiliate link in the answer. This clever strategy increases the chances of someone clicking on your affiliate link directly from Google, without even visiting your website first. It's a powerful way to optimize your search results and potentially boost your affiliate earnings. 10) Site Kit by Google Site Kit by Google is an official Google plugin that simplifies connecting your website to Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Its association with Google ensures frequent updates and a sense of security. It provides a convenient way to access essential Google tools directly from your WordPress dashboard. 11) ThirstyAffiliates ThirstyAffiliates is a popular affiliate link management plugin. I use it to create and manage affiliate links efficiently. Instead of manually creating long affiliate links each time, ThirstyAffiliates allows me to create and reuse short, easy-to-remember links. This saves time and prevents the need for site-wide updates if affiliate URLs change. 12) Contact Form 7 Contact Form 7 is a straightforward plugin I've been using for years. It simplifies the process of creating contact forms for my "Contact Me" page, making it easy for visitors to reach out. 13) Paddle WP My next plugin is something that often doesn't make it onto the list of recommended plugins, but it's a hidden gem. Paddle WP is the official plugin that seamlessly integrates Paddle's payment service with WordPress. Now, I've experimented with various payment solutions in my pursuit of handling payments for digital products on my website. And I must say, Paddle solution has emerged as the clear winner in this regard. One standout feature of Paddle is that it eliminates the need for you to have a registered business in a specific location, such as the United States. Here's how it works: Paddle takes care of the payment process on your behalf, handling transactions under their name. They also handle tax obligations on your behalf, ensuring compliance with tax regulations. And the best part? They facilitate payouts directly to you, either through PayPal or bank account transfers. If you're selling digital products on your website and require a reliable solution for processing credit card payments, I highly recommend exploring Paddle's offerings. It's a hassle-free way to manage payments for your digital products, allowing you to focus on what matters. 14) Pixel Cat Lite Pixel Cat Lite is a handy plugin for adding Facebook Ads pixel to your WordPress site. It assists in creating Facebook trigger events for effective retargeting, which can be invaluable when running Facebook Ads campaigns. 15) Thrive Architect Thrive Architect is the tool I rely on for crafting various types of landing pages to serve different purposes. For instance, I use it to create pages for collecting email subscriptions, sales pages for ebooks or courses, and thank you pages. One notable advantage of Thrive Architect is its extensive library of templates, which covers a wide array of design styles and functionalities. Whatever I envision for my landing pages, I can typically find a template that fits it. It's important to note that Thrive Architect is developed by Thrive Themes, a company that prides itself on creating conversion-optimized plugins that are both powerful and user-friendly—a combination that I approve. 16) Thrive Leads Thrive Leads complements Thrive Architect by allowing me to create opt-in forms to collect visitor emails and names. It seamlessly integrates with popular email marketing tools, including Mailchimp. 17) Thrive Optimize Now, let's talk about Thrive Optimize, another exceptional plugin from the Thrive Themes lineup. I rely on this plugin to conduct A/B tests right within WordPress itself. This has proven to be incredibly valuable on my main affiliate website, where I sell digital products. Through Thrive Optimize, I've achieved notable improvements in conversion rates for various elements on my website. One of its most practical uses has been in testing multiple versions of my email capture pages to determine which one performs best. This optimization has, in turn, led to a reduction in the cost per email acquired through my Facebook Ads campaigns. I've also employed A/B tests on sales pages to experiment with different headlines. This has allowed me to pinpoint which titles are most effective at capturing the audience's attention and encouraging them to delve deeper into the sales page, ultimately resulting in more sales. Furthermore, I've utilized A/B testing on upsell pages, where I present visitors with additional digital products to add to their cart, which helps to increase the average order value on my site. What I don’t like about Thrive Themes now is that, unlike when I got their products years ago, they switched from a one-time payment to a subscription model. Moving to the next plugin. 18) WP Meta and Date Remover Pro WP Meta and Date Remover Pro is a straightforward plugin that does exactly what its name suggests. It allows me to remove publication dates and the author name from my articles. This can be useful in certain scenarios, depending on your content strategy. 19) WP File Manager I stumbled upon this plugin while in the process of transferring the files of an affiliate site that I had sold. The team handling the site transfer was using this particular plugin, and it proved to be a handy tool for accessing WordPress files directly from the WordPress dashboard. Its interface is similar to the file manager app we used in hosting providers. There are various scenarios where you might find the need to access your WordPress files, such as uploading, downloading, or editing files like .htaccess or wp-config. In such instances, this plugin simplifies the process, allowing you to gain easy access to your files without requiring FTP details or the use of dedicated FTP software. It's a practical solution for managing your WordPress files directly within the WordPress environment, streamlining tasks related to file management. 20) BackWPup Last but not least, we have BackWPup. When you invest your time and effort into building a website, the last thing you want is to lose all that hard work overnight. That's why having a reliable backup solution is absolutely crucial. What I find particularly appealing about the BackWPup plugin is its versatility in creating backup copies. It allows you to store backups not only within your hosting account but also outside of it, such as on Dropbox. And the best part? It can do all of this automatically. To set it up, all you need to do is grant it access to your Dropbox account and then choose your preferred backup frequency, whether it's daily, weekly, or monthly. Here's a handy tip: I recommend scheduling backups for a time when your website experiences the lowest number of visitors like after midnight. This helps avoid any potential issues related to server load during the backup process. That concludes the list of WordPress plugins I use for my affiliate websites. If you found value in this episode, please don't hesitate to share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. Your input encourages me to create more content like this to help the community. BONUS TIP As a token of appreciation for sticking with me until the end, I'd like to share a valuable tip I learned during my paid training. When it comes to the prices of web tools like WordPress plugins and themes, you may have noticed that they can be quite high. If you're looking to minimize your costs, there's a strategy known as GPL licensing that can be incredibly useful. A GPL license, or agency license, is a completely legal arrangement that some individuals obtain directly from product owners. What's interesting is that there are many websites that purchase GPL licenses for WordPress tools and then resell them at a substantial discount. For example, instead of paying around $90 for Yoast SEO Premium, you could potentially acquire it for as low as $5 from a GPL website. Similarly, Thrive Themes Architect, which typically costs around $300 per year, can often be found for just $5 on many GPL websites, and it can be used on an unlimited number of websites. Now, it's important to emphasize that this technique is entirely legal, and you can verify this information online. However, there is a potential downside to using GPL websites: they may not always offer the most up-to-date software versions. but in most cases this is not a big of a deal for many of us. That's a wrap for this episode. If you found it helpful, please let me know in the comments below. Your feedback encourages me to create more content like this. If you have questions related to online business, don't hesitate to reach out through the contact page on my blog at bensexperience.com. I might even answer your question in an upcoming episode. Thank you for joining me, and I'll see you in the next episode.