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Sept. 21, 2013

30: 10 Recommended Paid Services for WordPress Blogs

30: 10 Recommended Paid Services for WordPress Blogs

WordPress is free, but if you want to get the most out of your CMS for inbound marketing, here are 10 recommended paid services that you should look into.

 

Transcript

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Welcome to another edition of social business Unplugged. Practical advice on how to best leverage social media for your business. Now the host of Social Business Unplugged, author of the forthcoming book Maximize Your Social, published by Wiley and founder of Maximize Social Business Neal Shaper. Greetings, everybody kneel Schaffer here. Welcome to another episode of Social business Unplugged. I decided to record this one before I attend social shake up. It's going to be by the time you hear this podcast this week. In fact, it made me over. But you can go to the hashtag social shake up and be able to get caught up on all the nuggets of wisdom that were shared and hope to be able to provide you some unique content from that conference and the people that were there and the ideas and information they shared on future episodes of this podcast. Today I want to talk about paid service is for WordPress or your website. You know, we're press now runs, I don't know. 25% of the world's websites is I don't remember the exact number, but WordPress obviously runs a heck of a lot of websites out there. If you're a small business, especially if you don't have an e commerce aspect or fear a news site. There's a good chance that you may be running a wordpress, but what I'm gonna talk about is equally important or equally applicable to droop a little Jew MLA. And even if you have fear, work for a large brand that has huge enterprise systems, there are similar service is whether they be internal people or external resource is that you should probably have lined up a CZ Well, so I think you know, this is probably gonna be more applicable to solo practitioners out there or maybe smaller businesses. But make sure if you're larger business that you have your bases covered. So I run a WordPress, absolutely loved the service, and I want to introduce you to Well, did I just say nine? I'm gonna make it 10 10. Paid service is that I think you should consider investing him. And the first question you're going to say is Neil, where press is free. Why should I pay money for it? And here's the thing, And if you read or when you read, maximize your social and you go through my chapters on paid Social, you'll understand that's time is money. And if you could just invest a little of that time or, I should say, invest a little bit of your budget into buying more time and making your marketing efforts in social media a lot more efficient. It is a small price to pay, and it frees up your time to do more important things for your business. So, yes, we're press is free, but it is a free framework and there is a lot you can do with it. And if you just try to do things the freeway, you're going to run into a lot of walls. Now, some of these service's of these 10 paid service is I'm gonna introduce to you many of you have already heard of them. Maybe you're already doing them, but if not, you should really consider. So the 1st 1 is constructing a WordPress theme, and there are tons of free themes out there. And if you're gonna pay someone to or if you pay someone to develop a theme for you, it's another story. If not, you really should. But the problem with custom themes are their custom when you want to change teams again. If you run into problems, then it may be hard. If that company closes shop or people move on, it may be hard to really maintain that over the long term. That's why I highly recommend with maximize social business. I have shifted over to a framework called Genesis, and there are a few different frameworks out there. But I think there are enough reputable people that I respect running Genesis. That's really got me to turn it over to. What Genesis is doing is it's managing, Ah, lot of the plumbing for your websites that when you create a custom theme, it's not a complete fool out custom theme. It is basically a subset or a child theme of Genesis. So you have your WordPress upgrades, you have your genesis upgrades, and then you only have a subset that you need to maintain. So that is definitely something. If you've heard of it, you should definitely check it out. It is you do have to buy it, but I think it is well worth the money. And it was created by pro blogger who actively maintained that there's a community of developers based around it really, really great software product. The 2nd 1 that I want to talk about because you need to pay for this anyway, is Web hosting. I have blogged about this before but maximize social business as well as all of my sights are hosted with W P Engine. And I'm not going to go on a rant about how I've run into problems with a number of Web hosting providers. Those that know me probably know who they are. One of them, I even use in my social media speeches on what not to do in social media. But I'm tight pressing here, and W P engineer used them because they're dedicated a WordPress that, to me is important that they know we're press, you know, inside and out to the point where there are certain plug ins that they will not allow you to use because they know that it's going to affect your server performance. Others you know, Web hosting service is that I dealt with whenever there was an issue with my Web site. Oh, too many plug ins. It's gotta be playing. Come fix. You have to check him out yourself. That issue just does not exist with W p engine. And if you're looking for a play gonna need some help, you can ask them. In fact, W P engine offers a lot more than that. They actually back up your sight for free every day. They have a time machine like functionality. So if any point you know, I ruin my sight, which happens more than you'd think, I could immediately roll it back within a minute, okay? And I'm back to where I waas and they keep those backups for a while. So a backup service is something you should also consider. But considering the W P engine, including this part of the Web hosting, well, it just makes a lot of sense to go with them. And it's not just that I've had security issues, like many other sites D'oh! And they have been very, very proactive of warning me of potential issues as well as when I did have security issues of really going through what the possible areas could be. They were very, very proactive in doing research for me on the support side. So they are you know, my my best WordPress friend, I think, would be the way to look at it. And that's the advantage of going with a company that is dedicated to WordPress. In fact, Automatic. You know, the organization that is responsible for maintaining where press outside of the open source, they have invested in W p engine. And that was another reason why I decided to go with them. Okay, let's keep moving on here. Service number three is something that I just subscribe to a few days ago. But I Hi, I'm I'm going to recommend it. Just based on what I believe is number one that need that you probably all how for this and number two, the excellent service that I've received already. The problem is you create a website, especially with WordPress. You don't have a full time I t person. And the state of the market is you know, we're pressed. Developers make money from developing websites. There's not a lot of money to be made in supporting. Okay, maybe you have a support contract for the 1st 3 months. Six months, one year. What have you But you're going to get to the point if you do not have a full time. Weber, I t person where you actually need help and it happens. I mean, your code may have been perfect yesterday, but with every new plugin, Okay, every plugging up, that every word press update, every Genesis update, it introduces new changes that have the ability to create conflicts that are completely out of your or your original developers control. It's gonna happen over time. Trust me, It happened to me on a few different things recently. And for various reasons, my Web developer is already not doing Web developing anymore. They're already working for another company. So this is, you know, this happens, right? So my challenge was I needed to get support, and I've done it various ways of gone in the O desk. I've had people from India work on the site. I've tried to find local people to work on the site. I just could not find a stable, trustworthy resource that similar W p. Engine I can call on when I needed help for support incomes. And there are few companies. There were three specific cos I found I wanted to find American companies well based here in the United States. I wanted to find American companies that were working on my time zone that were national, right? Not just local companies that already had a system in place. In other words, they had a monthly retainer package where I could become their clients and from that get a lot of support. So of the three sites I decided on the psycho W p site care dot com, W P s I t E c A r e dot com and what they do is for, you know, all these sides pretty much they give you free backups. They may have free security. They will update. We're press changes, plug in changes. The funny thing is that W P engine already does that for me, but they offer a few different things. They'll go into your CEO settings and maybe optimized them to optimize performance. They offer different degrees of support via support tickets, you know, maximum number per month or number of development hours. If you do a search for WordPress support and you just go through the links there, you'll find a few I want with W piece. I care because they had basically, you know, support tickets often resolved within an hour. That type of support that I really like and I just contracting with him. And I had a number of issues that have been bothering me. These aren't issues you can fix just by swapping plug ins or these air issues where I would go through. And I'm not a developer, but I would try toe, go through PHP code and try to find solutions which I just cannot find. And literally, Within 24 hours, three of these four issues have been solved. The 4th 1 I expect, will be solved. Maybe by the time I finish recording this podcast. So you know, you never know when things happen on your site when things don't look like they should. And what have you You really want to consider working with a similar team like a w piece? I care. Wow, This is a lot of content, doesn't it? My normal 10 minute podcast look like it looks like I'm gonna go over, but I am going to keep going. I've already talked about four different that well talked about three different things, but I mentioned security and there's another service that I use on top of what w p engine gives me that really monitors my website 24 by seven to have a WordPress plug in. Really? Just to make sure that you know you don't get hacked just give you an extra layer of security, you know, enterprise grade security. They're called secure. E s u C u r i dot net, you know, and it happens to websites that happen to me. One time, my, uh, my content manager said, Hey, Neil, for some reason, you know, maximize social business is showing up as a site that's been flagged for malware. And just out of the blue right soup curry hand held me through the process. Did scans figure out what the problem was and resolved it? And ever since I have been using them. So I'm gonna keep on the list. You're number five. Number five is a service that just started using to create landing pages. Landing pages aren't easy to create, and we're press because you need to be able to create a page where there is no menu where people go to the page and they can't leave. They either, you know, respond you called action or they don't. And there are things that I blogged about the past. In the past, I blogged about a plague uncalled premise, which is nice. And if you use something like Hub Spot, even infusion soft gives you the ability to create landing painted by found one. Okay, this actually found out at Infusion Soft University that I had a podcast about a few weeks ago, but I found through their introduction a very, extremely easy to create landing page company. It's you do it on on the Web, and you can immediately publish a knowledge of the World press website. But you can also publish it easily to a Facebook page, and it integrates with a few different email providers, including Infusion soft and goto webinar. By the way, it has a bunch of awesome free templates where you just upload your visual change the word publish and you're done It is that easy? It it's pretty amazing. I think it even includes a be testing analytics. What have you It is called lead pages dot net. Now I've had a number of people ask me about this and I said, Hey, I'm gonna block about it soon. Well, as always, I podcast about things before I blog's. So hopefully you're one one leg ahead of the competition because you listen this podcast, and if you're curious, go to twitter dot com slash max Your social m a x y o u r s o c i a l That is the Twitter page for my new book, and there is a link there, and there's a link also on maximize social business dot com and a few other places. But there's a link there for free x er to the book and that free extort landing pages using lead pages dot net And they have a WordPress plugging obviously so really, really great technology that you should really consider pain for if you don't have a great landing page technology, other things. And this leads to sort of things about the infrastructure of your website, especially your blawg number six. And you know, I say I usually don't have notes ready when I do. These podcasts isn't the first time I just wrote down the service is so I wanted to make sure I get through them all. Number six is an image site. Stock images. If you do block posts, you need to have stock images. OK, well, you need to have an image. And if your photographer great, you have access to a lot of images, but you know, and you can create means and other things easily on the Web as well. But at some point you may need stock photo, and there's a bunch of free photo websites out there. But I tell you, time is money, and if you're wasting 10 or 15 minutes looking for the right photo, something's wrong. I would rather pay 30 40 50 cents and find a photo that I know it was gonna be professional looking, and that will satisfy my needs. Now there's a number of photo sites out there. You know, I stock photo probably being most famous Getty images being the most extensive I use something called 123 r f dot com, and I can get the cost of a photo depends on the resolution and everything down to his lowest 21 cents per photo at that price, it's not a huge investment. I highly recommend that you consider using them. If you haven't going forward now, number seven number seven is going to be once again this is just, you know, if if there's a need for images for your blog's Fear website, there's also a need for contact form. I'm a huge fan of gravity forms. Okay, Gravity forms is a paid plug in that allows you to create any type of form you want and customize it to a great degree. That is just not possible with the free plug ins. It also offers once again hooks to integrate with male chimp. There's an infusion self leg, and that's available so these people can immediately be added into your marketing automation, funnel, great technology, gravity forms, something that you should definitely look into having for your own website on a similar note. I'm gonna The last three service is I'm gonna talk about our actual, you know, pure marketing, pure sort of call to action. How do we send out a call to action somewhere in our blood that's gonna get people's attention that's gonna focus them to go into a landing page and click for some sort of action for some sort of objective. So the first of these three I'm gonna introduce is Magic Action Box Pro Magic Action Box Pro was actually developed by Dean Soto, who at one time was the WordPress Plugin contributor to maximize social business. It is a paid WordPress plug in, but basically what it allows you to do is to easily create called the Action Box and put it anywhere you want on your website or than a block post and easily customize it. Killer technology. The last two I want to talk about are these little strips that sometimes you see at the top of websites with a call to action I used them on Maximize social business dot com. You can see them also on women networking dot com, and I bring up these two different websites because right now I'm using two different plug ins for that stripe that you see at the top of these websites for windmill networking dot com. Amusing Hello Bar, which up until now and for many of Stowe, is the gold standard of easy to customize, very, very inexpensive type of call to action bar Now. Recently, I was introduced to something called Max Blawg Press stripe. Add pro Max Blogged Press is the creator of a number of different WordPress plug ins. Summer free summer for a fee and the stripe add pro is exactly what it sounds like. It is adding the stripe ad at the top of your sight. Now, this is what I'm currently using for maximize social business. And compared to Hello, bar, it actually has a few additional bells and whistles in terms of styling in terms of what I think are better analytics and even the ability to add these social icons at the top, full left or right hand side. So if you're in the market for something like that, I don't know how effective these things are. If they're left up there all the time and I have a tendency to do that, I probably shouldn't. So you want to experiment? Put it up for one day, leave it off the other day. You don't see what the difference is, but I have seen sights, especially client side that have gotten pretty high. Click through rates on the stripe abs, so give it a try. But I hope by my introducing these 10 paid service is and obviously the hello bar in the max blogged, prestrike, pro add striked out there. I should say these are you know two different flavors of one type of service. But I hope by showing you what is possible for paying either a monthly or one time fee, and the fees don't have to be a lot of money. You can easily and efficiently and, I believe inexpensively run a very, very high grade, always up to date, efficient and efficient from a code perspective as well as a marketing perspective website. You know, the more you rely on inbound marketing for generating leads, the more you need to invest in your website because that's really going to be and your social media, obviously. But the website becomes your key marketing infrastructure off. Always seen my website. That's way. That's why I'll pay a little bit more money for these service is because, you know, I'm aiming for a lot of profit, a lot of revenue if it's an extra 10 $20 a month, but it adds value and saves me time, I'm all for it, and I think you should be a CZ. Well, wow, this was the longest podcast I've done I could have. If I was a good content market, I would have split it up into part one and part tuba. No, I want to give you all the content. Naturally, organically as it should be. So there you have It went almost 20 minutes today. Wow. Amazing. Well, I hope you enjoyed this podcast. I appreciate all the feedback you've given me once again. Anything you want me to cover, Let me know. Love those five star ratings and iTunes and the comments. And I wish you all a great rest of your day wherever you are in the world. And, as always, good luck and maximizing your social. Bye bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to another edition of social business unplugged. We appreciate your subscribing to our podcast and adding your rating and comments in iTunes. If you would like to appear on this podcast or of content that you would like covered, please contact Neil Schaefer. Kneel at maximize social business dot com for additional social media for business advice, please make sure to check out your new social media for business resource at maximized social business dot com. Thanks again and make it a great day. Why? But