Welcome to my world 🙂
As you know, I've built this site with a lot of love and I use the best tools to make it work well. Now I want to share with you the tools I use on IMobsession.com so you can benefit from them too. I've also included some really good tools and services here that I think are cool and you should consider using them.
WordPress is an excellent platform and you can use a number of themes and plugins to shape it for your use, but if you use the wrong tools, it can become very difficult to switch to better ones later on. You have to customize many things and while your site is live, that will hurt you.
If your site is new, then you should pay even closer attention to the words below and make you choose the very best tools to build your website on a rock solid foundation.
I only recommend the best tools out there and I'm sure you will get great benefits from each and every one of them.
Every website needs a domain name and a space to host it on. IMobsession.com was booked through one of the cheapest domain vendors in the market, CrazyDomains. You can pick up a domain name for cheap from here but I won't recommend you get hosting from them.
A note about domains and hosting: I don't recommend you get a domain from your hosting provider even if they offer you one for free. The reason is that if you ever want to move away from your existing host, your domain is still controlled by them and if you want to move your domain to any other domain vendor (example GoDaddy) then you'll probably need to pay a hefty charge will negate the benefits of the free domain.
Once you've got WordPress installed, it's time to get a great theme which will not only help you get more email subscribers but will also come with a host of very useful features. You also want to make sure that your theme doesn't slow down your website.
So after a ton of research I've selected the Rise theme by Thrive Themes for IMobsession. Thrive Themes also has several other WordPress themes worth looking at. Best part is that they are so focused on speed that they optimize all images automatically from the best image optimization service ever: Kraken 🙂
For lead generation I use Thrive Leads (read review) and for creating awesome content I use Thrive Content Builder (read review). This is all quite convenient for me since all Thrive products work in tandem. For this reason I bought the Thrive Membership in 2015 and it's been serving me well ever since.
To promote the social sharing of my blog posts, I selected Social Warfare as my plugin because it's fast and it offers a ton of options. It's a great plugin at quite a reasonable price.
I also use Social Locker to make sure my blog posts are shared more effectively on social networks.
There are many great social media management tools out there and it was a tough decision to choose the best one for my needs. The tool had to fit it exactly with my social media goals and so after a ton of deliberation, I finally chose SmarterQueue.
Does that mean other tools are not great? Absolutely not!
All it means is that out of all the great tools out there like Buffer, HootSuite, SocialPilot and AgoraPulse the one that fit me best was Buffer. I recommend you take a look around and choose the one that works best for you.
Just like social sharing, Email Marketing is the backbone of IMobsession and I rely on it heavily to reach out to the subscribers and make sure they have the best possible experience here at IMobsession.com
ActiveCampaign came as very highly recommended by a couple of bloggers I have tons of respect for. At first I was skeptical because I couldn't see much of what they offer just by looking at their website, but once I signed up for the 14 day trial, I was blown away. I'm in awe of their automations capabilities and I'm in love with their site tracking feature as well.
Now I can't imagine doing email marketing the old fashioned way. ActiveCampaign is what I recommend EVERY BLOGGER uses. Try it, at your own risk, because you won't ever want to use any other email marketing service ever again 🙂
GetResponse comes a close second (if for some reason you don't want to use ActiveCampaign)
When I came across Sniply, I thought it was a brilliant idea. It allows me to link to other websites and have my visitors find their way back to my website quickly once they go away from my website. I don't know how to explain this clearly, so just take a look. I'm sure you'll love it 🙂
And the best part? SocialWarfare prevents others from placing such call to actions on my website when they link to me 😉
Personally, I find Clicky to be more user friendly that Google Analytics and I use both the products together to get a better idea of what's going on on this website.
For on page SEO, I use the SEO Ultimate plugin.
I use ProRankTracker to accurately figure out how my pages are ranking on Google.
I'm an affiliate for several excellent products on the web and I only promote the best products out there. I know that it takes years to build a solid reputation and an instant to lose it. So I keep that in mind whenever I'm promoting a product or service. The tools I use for affiliate marketing are:
Link masking through Pretty Link Pro.
WordPress security is very important and to protect my website, I won't disclose a full list of things I do and products and services I use to protect my website. I do however recommend that you use Wordfence on all of your WordPress installations to make them safer.
I use caching for all my WordPress posts and pages to ensure they load faster and at the same time reduce load on the server. There are many great caching plugins out there but I use the caching plugin SG CachePress created by SiteGround which only works for SiteGround WordPress hosting customers.
I also use CloudFlare to get basic CDN services and also to protect my website from spammers. To be honest, I haven't found their free plan to be very useful, but I'll hold my comments till the time I have an opportunity to explore and examine their service in detail.
Their are a lot of CDN services out there but I will recommend only MaxCDN because I've used their service in the past and have found it to be exceptionally good. I won't comment on other CDNs because I haven't used or tested them till date.
My favourite personal productivity tools are Evernote which allows me to jot down my thoughts and post ideas while I'm on the move. It's great for when I must urgently write down my thoughts.
And when work takes it's toll and I need to relax and get back to peace, I just put on my headphones and meditate with Zen12.
Webinars and Podcasts are a great way to connect with you audiance in a more human way and to communicate with your voice tone and sometimes with your body language. They are also and excellent medium to drive sales.
Fivver for outsourcing many things, Canva and PicMonkey for graphics, Microsoft Office for obvious reasons, FileZilla for FTP access to the server, TypeForm for feedback forms, Adobe Photoshop for image editing and finally ColorCop is a nifty little Windows utility to help me figure out the exact colour of every pixel on the screen.
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