WordPress Plugins – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO Strategy

This post is a part of the WordPress Plugins discussion thread and focuses on Plugins that focus on Search Engine Optimization.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (known as SEO) is complicated.  Any help to you, the Web Master, is greatly appreciated help, and will go a long way in making your site SEO friendly.

At this time one of the tools that I am using is the free version of “Yoast SEO By Team Yoast“, and I recommend it. I’m happy with the tool, but I will admit I’m not sure of other tools that are out there.  I’ll be investigating other tools in the future.

Impact analysis

I used Google Analytics with my code slung sites, and I wanted to continue to use Google Analytics with WordPress.  If you remember back in the “olden days” of building basic Content Management System web sites with Dreamweaver, you had to include a unique and special piece of Google code on every page.  Is there a way to do that through a Plugin instead of managing the code itself?  I mean, the reason we moved to CMS is to cut our set of managed code, right?

Searching for “Google Analytics” on our WordPress Plugins website [reference: Plugins] offers up nearly 1500 plugins as of this writing.  Searching the web for “Best Google Analytics WordPress Plugin” is a help in the right direction with 2.5 million hits (no, don’t read them all!).  Adding “free” to the search reduces our hits to 1.5 million.

Here are a few I tested

  • “Google Analytics Dashboard for WP”.  Free.  What’s not to love?
  • “Google Analytics+”, not free, don’t even bother with it (there is a free trial, I’m not interested)
  • “Analytify”.  As of this writing, the landing page had security issues, offering up a warning that “Your connection is not private, Attackers might be trying to steal your information from wp-analytify.com”.  Didn’t sound so hot, wasn’t really interested in figuring out what is wrong with their site, moving on.
  • “Google Analytics by MonsterInsights”, not free ($39/year for one site), not interested
  • “Google Analytics By ShareThis”, free (yay!), but as of this writing is only tested to 4.7.7 and hasn’t been updated for 8 months.

When I opened my first WordPress several years ago, I was using “Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights”. I no longer recommend that plugin. Why?  Because the complete package is not free (there is a “Pro” paid version available), and more specifically, Google Analytics Dashboard for WP is free.  Why not just use the free version?

I chose “Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP) By Alin Marcu“.  Being released under GPLv2 identifies that it is free for all to use for both commercial and personal web sites.   So far, I haven’t found any significant limitations with GADWP.  I’ll post back if I wind up changing the plugin for something else.

 

WordPress Plugins – Interact with your visitors

Interact with users

This post is a part of the WordPress Plugins discussion thread and focuses on Plugins that help you interact with your visitors.

Interacting with your visitors

Why did you create your site?  Sure, some folks might have created their site for their own personal use, but most of us have created sites so that we can either share something with people, or sell something to people.  Either way, other people are the focus, and we need to do what we can to make sure other people can interact with us the way they want to.  This section helps to explore some of those opportunities.

Contact form

The easier you make it for folks to send you feedback, the better.  In my case, I set up a special Contact Form for folks to respond to me (see the menu, Contact).

For the Contact Form, I wound up selecting a highly deployed solution that is free called “Contact Form 7 By Takayuki Miyoshi“.  Again, I support the open source community, and however the developers are supporting themselves, I’m going to do my best to use their tools.

Of note, be sure to update your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records so that Contact Form can send mail properly!

[See Reference: Contact Form 7]

Emails

How about folks who want to sign up for your newsletter?  This becomes a little more complicated, since you’ll need to find a solution that allows people to sign up, and allows you to send messages, all for free.

Mail Relay

As a mail relay, for mail I send to my users (and my friends!), I’ve chosen MailJet that offers up to 2000 signups and 6000 total outbound emails per month for free (200 per day). I’ve tested MailJet extensively.

One very positive note, MailJet does not add a disclaimer to the bottom of emails that I’ve sent while in Mail Relay mode.  This is a very nice free feature, and one of the criteria for acceptance.

There have been some issues with mail delivery, and (as of this writing) I’m still working with MailJet customer service to resolve the problems.  That said, MailJet has been responsive to trouble tickets.

You can read more about my decision here.

[See Reference: MailJet]

Mail Campaigns

For mail campaigns, MailChimp is a possible contender, with the following promise:  “If you have 2,000 or fewer subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month absolutely free. No expiring trial, contract, or credit card required.”  But, I’ve not thoroughly tested MailChimp.

<<<To add to this review, how about Like button, Share button>>>