Category Archives: web design

Top 10 Plugins For Wordpress

Top 10 Plugins for WordPress Websites 2019

You can do so much with WordPress.  It can look beautiful and you can extend the functionality of your site using plugins.  I’ve put together my top 10 plugins for WordPress websites 2019 for you to get a good idea of the plugins I recommend and suggest you try for yourself.

You’ll find a brief description of each plugin, how it will benefit you and a link to go through to the site providing it as well as a direct download link if available.

Please let me know in the comments section, if you recommend any other plugins for the same purposes as the ones listed below.


NB:  You may encounter affiliate links in this content.  They’re intended for me to make a small commission if you decide to buy anything, (all at no cost to you).


The Top 10 Plugins for WordPress Websites 2019:

akismet wordpress plugin - digital marketing, web marketing, vermaak marketing

1. Akismet


What is Akismet?


Akismet has been around forever and claim to block spam reaching your site.  They do quite well, and judging by the statistics they provide, they save you hours upon hours of spam prevention.  Obviously, no plugin is perfect and the odd spam comment will slip through, but it’s nothing compared to what you would have to deal with if you didn’t use Akismet.


How will Akismet benefit my site?


I’ve mentioned that it blocks spammers from posting spam comments.  Keep track of the statistics and you’ll see that you could save hours of work, by simply installing and activating Akismet on your own website.


Website Link:

Download Link:

2. Smushit


We all love putting images on our sites to make it easier for our readers to visualize what we’re trying to tell them and to make it easier to convey our story.  The problem is, images contain millions of pixels, and every pixel counts as data that your web server needs to load, every time you open a page or blog post.


The higher quality and the larger your images, the more data needs to be loaded, resulting in slower that optimal loading times.


What is smushit?


Smushit is a plugin that condenses your images and reduces the number of pixels, without damaging the visual appearance of the image.


How will Smushit benefit my site?


Less image data that needs to be loaded when a page or post is opened will result in faster opening times, giving you an edge in Google Search results.  The slower your site, the lower it drops in search rankings because it’s all about giving great user experiences, a slow site is a negative experience.


Website Link:

Download Link:

3. Wordfence


You don’t want a hacker hijacking your site and stealing your data.  Often times they just want to redirect your traffic to another domain so that they don’t have to pay for the service.


Other times, they are gathering intelligence, but in the background, steal your data.  Corruption of your site and a slow-down in performance will have a negative impact on your readers.


What is Wordfence?


Wordfence is a firewall and malware prevention plugin, preventing brute force attacks, preventing malware and stopping viruses before they render your site useless.


How Will Wordfence Benefit My Site?


Wordfence firewall prevents malware and brute force attacks on your data, ensuring your site remains online and trouble free.


Website Link:

Download Link:

4. Supercache


Google and online visitors hate slow or outdated websites.  So, for this reason, it makes sense to have a cache plugin.


What is Supercache?


Whenever you visit a site, the web server loads a cache to your browser, and each time you go back to the same site, in order to speed things up, your browser will re-load the last known cache of the website.


A cache is basically a file containing the code necessary to show a web page.


As we make site changes, we want to ensure that only the latest version of the site is displayed to returning visitors, so we use cache plugins.


Cache plugins flush out old versions of the site, and load new versions to be displayed to new or returning visitors, ensuring that only the most updated content is served.


How will Supercache benefit my site?


Supercache works in the background and every time that you post a new blog post, update an existing page, upload or publish a new product, supercache automatically flushes out the old cache, making sure to upload a newer version.


This means your site is always displaying the latest information and you don’t have to manually flush the cache every time you make a change.  Saving you lots of time.


Website Link: N/A

Download Link:

5. Woocommerce


Do you want to sell something online?  It can be a physical, digital or an affiliate product.  You can do that all with the Woocommerce Plugin.


What is Woocommerce?


Woocommerce is a full-fledged eCommerce solution, allowing you to setup a virtual storefront and sell anything online.


How Will Woocommerce benefit my site?


If you want to sell something and take payment for goods or services directly on your own website, then Woocommerce may be just the solution you’re looking for.  It’s extremely user friendly, there are loads of plugins to make it better, take multiple payment formats and upload as many products as you wish.


All for Free!


Website Link:

Download Link:


6. Elementor


Do you sometimes feel that the WordPress backend is a little cumbersome to work with?  Would you prefer a drag and drop builder that makes it easy to build great looking and professional looking websites in a flash?


What is Elementor?


Elementor is a simple drag and drop website builder, making it easy for you to drag and drop components into place to create a stunning website.


How will Elementor benefit my site?


With simple to see and understand sections, controls and added plugin functionality, you have everything you need in one place. Elementor is a tool that will cut your web design work in half, if not more.


Website Link:

Download Link:

7. Envato Elements


Designing a website from scratch isn’t something to be taken lightly.  It takes time, detailed knowledge of code and a keen eye for detail.


Luckily for us, there are shortcuts in the form of ready-made templates we can use.


Choose a template kit, customize the data, and off you go.


What is Envato Elements?


Envato Elements are a collection of design themes or better known as design kits.  They’re a collection of pages and posts that comprise a kit.  All the pages are created according to a specific theme.


Choose your desired business or category of interest and you’ll be presented with a choice of kits to choose from. 


Open the kit then choose from the pages that you want to use and add them to your site.


How will Envato Elements benefit my site?


Save hours of manually creating themes.  These pages are created according to a theme already.  Add your own data into the page you chose and you’re ready to make a few other adjustments, before you hit publish.


Pre-made templates make it so much easier to keep a consistent look and feel throughout your site.


Website Link:

Download Link:



You can’t be in front of your device all day long and you can’t site with phone in hand hoping and waiting for customers to contact you.


Wouldn’t you rather have someone waiting on your site to answer basic questions, then get the visitor to send you their details?


What is is a chatbot that lives on your website.  It’s a simple chatbot that you can customize and install within 5 minutes.


A chatbot is a great way for you to answer a few basic questions that a customer might have, strike up light conversation, then try get the visitor to send you their email or phone number so that you can follow up with them.


How will benefit my site?


Think of a as you butler.  It’s there 24/7/365, waiting to meet and greet anyone who asks something.  Simple answers can be given, but a request is made to submit contact details so that you can follow up when you have the time.


This will help you get more leads, already have a warmed up customer and is great, because you’ve already put a visitor’s mind at ease buy answering a simple question or two, letting them know, you’ve got the solution they’re looking for.


Website Link:

Download Link:


9. Yoast SEO


You want your content to be found and read buy people on the internet so that you can get leads, make sales and grow your business.  Isn’t that the whole idea behind inbound marketing and using the web in the first place?


Well, content is only found if there are “keywords” in the content that people type in somewhere and click “search”.


If your content doesn’t contain the specific keyword people are searching for, it won’t be found.


What is Yoast SEO?


Yoast SEO is a plugin for WordPress.  As you write the content in your website, Yoast SEO keeps track of the word count, the grammar, the ease of reading, past tense and a number of other items.


Before you publish, you can go to the plugin and do a simple analysis of your content to figure out what may be wrong and fix it before you click “publish”.


How will Yoast SEO benefit my site?


By using the Yoast SEO plugin on the fly (so to speak), you’re effectively focusing your content on a specific keyword. 


Yoast SEO tells you how often it should appear in your content and if you follow the prompts and analysis as given in the plugin, you’re bound to get a better position in search engines than blindly following your own intuition.


Website Link:

Download Link:

10. Sumo


If you want to grow your email list, then you need a number of ways to do it. (You need pop up forms, in moderation of course), Subscription bars and cart abandonment email capture forms.


What is sumo?


Sumo is a plugin that allows you to create popup forms, Capture emails and prevent cart abandonment with retargeting emails.  It also includes social sharing buttons.


How will sumo benefit my site?


Growing your email is a very important business.  If you can get people to sign up for your email list, then you have the opportunity to warm them up, and, as they get to know you through a series of personalized emails, they will begin to like and trust you and buy whatever you recommend.


Email marketing is still very popular and is a great way to get stability in your business, which makes sumo and invaluable tool for your business.


Website Link:

Download Link:




That’s my list of the top 10 plugins for WordPress 2019.  I’ve taken a rather broad approach to this list, but all of the plugins are what I use from day to day, so it makes sense for me to add them here.


Am I selling myself short, or am I using too many plugins?  Is there a one size fits all plugin?   


Are there any plugins you think do a better job than the ones listed here?  Give us your reasoning and let us know what your alternatives are, how you’ve used them and how they benefited you.


Do you have any recommended plugins for 2020?  Let us know!

If you've found something worthwhile, GREAT!

If you haven’t found any images, backgrounds, vectors or high resolution photographs yet, don’t despair, we’ve still got 6 other sites for you to explore.


Please remember to share the ones we’ve shared here, and if you’ve got other sources we should include, especially if they’re better than our list, then, please, drop a link in a comment below.



ISO Republic


Thousands of free photos, videos and collections of images for you to choose from for personal and commercial use.






Thousands of photos and videos for commercial and personal use





Pic Jumbo


Grab loads of photographs, backgrounds and high resolution images for your personal or commercial projects.







Tired of photos that look too much like stock photos?  Reshot has the answer.  Non-stock like images that look more authentic and less staged.


Grab some free images for use in your own business.







Free high resolution, copyright free images to use for personal or commercial use





Styled Stock


Feminine inspired stock photography.  Use the images in projects, blogs, branding, etc.





There!  you now have 12 sources of free stock photography, images, backgrounds, vectors and video to choose from.  Like we’ve said twice already, if you’ve got a better source, drop a link in a comment below.

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How To Start A Blog and Install WordPress on a New Domain



Let’s Learn How to start a Blog.


Hi there prospective WordPress user.  I can only assume that you want to install WordPress for one of two reasons.


You have a passion or cause you want to share with the world


You want to start a business


WordPress is a great platform for both.


I help people build businesses with WordPress. 


I want to help you make money, without working for someone else. 


My main goal, is for you to make a comfortable living working on your own terms, whenever and wherever you want.


NB: there are affiliate links in the post and I may make a small commission if you decide to buy through them (at no additional cost to you)


I Left the Rat Race



I left the rat race in 2010, forged my own path and discovered the power of the internet. 


I discovered marketing processes and the many, many opportunities that are available for anyone to make money online.


 I faced many challenges, but, I kept on learning, every day.  Over the years, I’ve found processes that get results.


These results allowed me to make sales and keep myself earning an income, even though I wasn’t working for a “BOSS”. 


If I, with no knowledge of the internet and internet marketing, could survive and be here today, then there’s no reason why you can’t build your own online business.


I started from scratch, with $0 investment, no list, no help, no funding.  Nothing!


If I could do it, so can you!


I will show you everything I’ve learnt


In my other eBook titled “Build an Online Business using a Framework” I teach you how to use WordPress to build a business in any niche:


  • How to determine if your business will succeed
  • How to establish a professional looking business
  • How to automate your entire business system
  • How to duplicate the website in different niches
  • Build multiple sites to multiply your income


By following each step of the process I outline, you will be able to create a highly profitable business that you can keep as a long term asset, or sell for profit.


Whatever your situation…..


Starting a business is such a great feeling.  But, many people collect information and never do anything with it.


I want to help you change that.


I want you to succeed, I want you to take action, I want you to be profitable, but it all comes down to you.


So, you want to use WordPress start an online business or spread the word about your passion or cause.   Did you know, a Blog is one of the easiest ways to start it all?


Depending on your choice, it can be setup in a day or even within a few hours.



Starting anything requires work


In order for the blog to work, it needs to be created the right way. 


We’re going to simplify it for you and show you how to do everything.


Just follow our step by step process. 


Every step in the process will help you build a Blog the right way.  No-one likes repeating work that wasn’t done right the first time round. 


Backwards thinking


Don’t do things backwards.  You don’t want to market a business, then build a blog and then decide on a product to promote.


What if you spend thousands of dollars and don’t make a cent?  What about the wasted time and other resources?


No builder will start building a roof, then the inner walls of a building, the outer walls, and then the foundation.


In the same way, there is a set way to create a blog or business that will last. 


We’re going to show you how to do it.


IT all starts with Hosting


All of the service providers listed here have incredibly easy signup processes and they also make it ridiculously simple for you to install WordPress.


Log into your hosting provider.  Navigate to the domain you’ve purchased. Hopefully, you chose a small plan, that’s both affordable and suits your needs.


Namecheap has an incredibly affordable annual price (Less than $10 for the full year!).  Bluehost offers unparalleled service and Hostgator offers powerful cloud services and hosts some of the largest sites in the world.


WordPress Installation


All three hosting providers give you simple directions to install WordPress on the domain you’ve registered.  Navigate to your domain and follow the prompts to install WordPress.


For Namecheap, you have to install through softaculous in the cPanel, or just use the EasyWP path.


Login to the cPanel if you’re going this route


Navigate to the bar that has Exclusive for Namecheap customers section written on it > Select the Softaculous Apps Installer.


On the next screen, click on the WordPress icon:


Click on the Install tab, then at the bottom of the screen, click on install now:


You should end up with a screen where you’re prompted to enter an Admin Name and Password:


For the site title, just enter the name of your Business or your tagline.  You can always change it within WordPress later on.


You need to save these details to your computer or somewhere safe so that you can log in whenever necessary. 


Make sure you record the admin username and password exactly as they appear here.


Hint:  change the admin name to something you will remember and don’t leave it as “admin”, hackers love trying to login to accounts which are left as the default admin username.


Entering your email in the last box is necessary so that the details of this page can be emailed to you.  Leave the checkbox unticked and click on install WordPress.


Once you click the install WordPress button, wait a few seconds, and you’ll probably be redirected to a screen similar to this:


Enter your username and password you copied and saved earlier. 


The first thing you’re going to see is the admin dashboard:


There you go!  You’ve successfully installed WordPress.  That wasn’t too difficult now, was it?


In the following sections we’re going to complete a couple of steps to finalize your site and get it secured. 


For now, play around, click on everything and get to know the layout of the site and how everything fits together.

Most of all, have fun!




Finalize Installation & Pick a Theme


We have a bit of work to do before we can begin using the site.  The default WordPress installation doesn’t quite suit our needs.


We’ll work through the entire site step by step.  It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.


The Dashboard


In the welcome box, right at the top, scroll over to the right and click on the dismiss link. 


If you look right at the top of your screen, you should see a “screen options” dropdown box.  Click it and select the checkboxes of things you want to see, or untick the boxes of things you want removed.


Now, move your mouse over to the “at a glance” box.  In it you will see:


  • 1 x Post
  • 1 x Page
  • 1 x Comment


Each of them is blue.  Which means that they are clickable links.  Click on the 1 x Post.  You should see this


Move your mouse over the “hello world”.  Underneath it, you will see text appear:


  • Edit
  • Quick Edit
  • Trash
  • View


Click on trash.


To return to the dashboard, click on the Dashboard link in the left menu:


Repeat the same process for the “page” and for the “comment”, when you’re finished, return to the dashboard.


Appearance of your site


We’re now going to do some work on the appearance of your website.  Remember, first impressions count.


In the left sidebar, click on appearance.  You’ll be presented with a short dropdown underneath the

Appearance link: 


  • Themes –  the appearance of your site
  • Customize – change elements of the site
  • Widgets – gadgets that do various things
  • Menus – give people a path to content
  • Header – the top of your pages
  • Editor – edit the code of the theme


For now, we just want to change the appearance.  We’re not going to cover the customization, widgets, menus, header or the editor now.


We just want to get your site up and running, as fast as possible.  Click on the Themes link.

Choose a Theme


You want a clean, simple theme that people find easy to use.  Use simple, clear and easy to use navigation so that no-one is confused about finding content on your website.


WordPress creates its own themes.  You can use theirs or search for one that you like in their extensive collection of themes. 


To search for a theme, click the “add new” button at the top of the page.  Pick the theme you like, and at the bottom right you’ll see an install button.


Once installed, you will end up on a page where there is an “activate” link.  Click it.


Theme Installed


Congratulations.  You’ve just installed a new theme.  To delete a theme you’re no longer using, click on the image of it.  You should see a “delete” link at the bottom right. 

Click and delete.


Alternatively, if you want more control and the ability to customize the site to your preferences, then you can buy a theme specifically made, for your type of business.


Each theme comes with instructions about altering the look and feel of the theme.  Follow the instructions to make it look exactly the way you want it.




Now that we’ve got the appearance done.  We want to add some plugins.  Click on the plugins link in the left menu and a new screen will open with all of your installed plugins.


By default, WordPress installs “Akismet” and “Hello Dolly”.  Delete the ‘Hello Dolly” plugin if you want.


Next, activate Akismet.  Follow the prompts and sign up for the service.  Enter the activation key and finalize the settings.


We have short list of plugins for you to use that are all free.   To install them, click on the “add new” button at the top of the screen.


It will open a screen like this:


On the right side of the screen, enter the names of the plugins from the list below, one by one, into the “search plugins” search box.


Click on the install button for each one and activate them.  Follow their guidance and prompts to configure them properly.


Required Plugins


Here they are in no particular order:


  • Akismet – anti-spam
  • Sumo – marketing
  • Yoast – seo
  • Wordfence – security
  • – chatbot
  • Elementor – page builder
  • Icegram – popups, email and more
  • Page links to – affiliate link management
  • Social locker – content locking
  • Google analytics – stats tracking


These plugins are ALL, super useful.  As we start creating content, you’ll see why we installed them.


Once you’ve got the hang of WordPress, you can add and remove plugins as necessary.


NB:  If you buy a theme, it may come bundled with required plugins.     Another important point to keep in mind, plugins slow down your site, so keep them to a minimum.


Make a point of keeping them updated to prevent any security breaches.


WordPress Settings


Once you’ve finished configuring your plugins, it’s time to finalize a few of the backend settings within WordPress.


Click on the settings link in the left menu.  There will be a dropdown of other links:


  • General
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Discussion
  • Media
  • Permalinks
  • Privacy
  • Akismet


We have a few changes to make so that the site is optimized for search and is configured to your liking.




Click on the general link.  On this page you can change the description of your site and the tagline.


You should already have a short description of your site, for example:  (If location based, add location)

  • Economical storage solutions, Connecticut
  • Plastic Container Manufacturers, Portland
  • Printing ink Suppliers, Colorado


The tag line should be short and punchy.  Think of brands that have the perfect punchlines:


  • Bounty – the quicker picker upper
  • Adidas – just do it
  • McDonalds – I’m loving it


Come up with your own, short, but memorable tagline.  No more than 5 words.  Less is better.


Go through the remaining settings like date and time format on the page.  Once complete, save your changes.  The “save changes” button will be at the bottom left.




Click on the writing link in the left menu.  There’s not much to change here.  If you want to be able to post by email, you can enter all the settings here.


Remember to save your changes.




Click on the Reading link in the left menu.  There really isn’t much to do here.  If you want to have people land on a home page when they arrive at your site, you can pick the page you want them to land on.


Save your changes.


For a blog, we suggest leaving this page as is, without making any changes.




Click on the discussion link in the left menu.  We suggest you leave everything as is.  Scroll down and uncheck the “Show Avatars” checkbox.


Save your changes.



Click on the media link in the left menu.  On this screen you can change the size of images when they are uploaded and stored on your hosting server.


You can set how you want the images to appear and limit the sizes.  Remember one thing, the more large images you use, the more storage and bandwidth your site uses.


Images can slow down a site, so use as few as possible and consider an image compression plugin later on, when you’ve got more content on your site.




Click on the permalinks link in the left menu.


This is one of the most important steps you can take.  You will be correcting the link structure of your posts.  This makes it easier for search engines to index content.


Scroll down the page.  Click inside the radio button next to the “Post Name” label.

Once you’ve done this, scroll to the bottom of the page and save changes.


Privacy Settings


Click on the privacy settings link in the left menu.  On this page, click on the blue button labelled “use this page”.


A privacy policy page is saved in draft format.  You can go to it later on and read through it.  Make sure you agree with it and make any edits if necessary, then publish it.


Every site needs a privacy policy in place to conform to privacy laws online.  

Don’t skip this step.




Click on the Akismet link in the left menu.


You should already have signed up for the service, inserted the security key, and activated it.


If you haven’t, now is the perfect time to do so.  Follow the prompts and get it done.


Click on the link in the left menu.  You’re not gonna be on your blog all day long. 

You need a way to interact with customers and get their requirements without being present 24/7.  A chatbot’s the perfect tool for the job.


Follow the simple instructions to setup your bot.  The website makes it super simple to understand.


Use their templates or create one from scratch.


Make sure you’re happy with the appearance, test it and make sure it works the way you want it to.


We’re Done!


And…..That’s it.  Your Blog’s ready for content.


Let’s do a Quick Recap


This shouldn’t’ve taken more than 30 minutes.  Let’s go through what we accomplished:


  • We configured our dashboard
  • We deleted the default page
  • We  deleted the default post
  • We  installed a Theme
  • We installed plugins
  • We configured all the plugins
  • We configured the WordPress backend


Well done.  If there’re any plugins you didn’t configure, take the time to do that now. 

Install the Monsterinsights Google Analytics Plugin

Install The Monsterinsights Google Analytics Plugin

Whenever you upload photographs to the web to showcase your talents, or show off your business processes and products, you need a way of measuring what effect your efforts are having.


NB: Please note, links in this post are affiliate links.  If you buy anything after clicking through the link, we will make a small commission. (at no extra cost to you)


To do this, you add descriptions, keywords in the descriptions, tags and categorize your work according to their type, for example: still, product images, architecture, nature, animals, etc.


When we upload and finish writing all the details about the images, we keep track of the content by installing tracking or analytics plugins.


I love simplicity, and in my case, Monsterinsights works perfectly for this purpose.


You install it and connect it to your Google Analytics dashboard.  It literally takes five minutes to setup, if not less.


Installing Monsterinsights

Installing Monsterinsights is pretty easy. 


All you need to do is the following:


  • Scroll down to Plugins, Click on Add New
  • Search For Monsterinsights in the plugin search box
  • Click on the install button and wait for a few seconds
  • When installed, the Activate button will go blue
  • Click on the activate button
  • A new screen should open
  • Follow the prompts to click through to Goole Analytics
  • Enter the security key and Activate


Your setup is complete

Why Do I Need To Track My Content?

If you know what photographs  people like looking at, then it makes your job as a photographer so much easier to do, because you can see by your website analytics what they’re into.


When you know what your audience likes, you can provide them more of the same.


If you didn’t track everything, you would be forever wondering if you were doing the right thing, and continue taking pictures in ways that people don’t care for.


It’s all about testing and tracking new things.


Tracking plugins simplify the data collection, making it easier for you to see what content is preferred over other content.


Give Monsterinsights a try.  I’m sure you’ll find them just as easy to use as I do.

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