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WordPress Plugins

Enhance your blog with WP Review

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I spoke to Dan Grossman recently and he was kind enough to send me a copy of his his new WordPress plugin WPReview. WPReview is a commercial product which lets you add ratings to your posts and pages, effectively making your blog a review site. It currently retails for $97 ($199 for a multi site license).

Short Story : What does WP Review do?

WPReview is a plugin which adds a star ratings system to your posts. Ratings are very popular in review sites and using this plugin will let you add this functionality to your blog. It basically allows you to create a WordPress powered user generated content website. These kind of sites are incredibly popular with webmasters because they require little to no maintenence and if done right, can make good money too.

Dan has setup a site to showcase this plugin. The site is called Award Winning Hosts and should quickly illustrate what this plugin can achieve.

Long Story : How good is WP Review?

WP Review is a WordPress plugin in the true sense of the word. You can activate and deactivate it without worrying about adding to the core database tables WordPress generates by default. It is also incredibly easy to install. As is the norm with WP plugins all you have to do is upload the plugin folder, activate it and you’re good to go.

The plugin also comes packaged with two themes. The first one is the one which is used in Award Winning Hosts. The second theme isn’t that much different to be honest but has more traditional blog features like the BlogRoll etc hard coded into the sidebar. Neither of these themes are what you would call top notch designs however they are more than sufficient for a small review site and the template code can easily be copied over to more eye appealing designs.

Once the plugin has been activated, a settings page will be added to your WP control panel. The settings area has 3 main sections :

  • Rating Categories Settings
  • Auto-Embed Settings
  • Other Display Settings

Rating Categories Settings

Adding a category is probably the first thing you will want to do and it’s incredibly easy to do so.

The ability to name your categories is important and will allow you to customize the ratings for the type of review site you are developing. It works well however I do think it’s limited in some respects. I think it would be great if future versions of this plugin allowed different categories for different types of reviews.

Let me explain. As it stands just now you can create the categories which visitors rate products on however these categories are applied throughout your blog. For example, say you want to develop a review site which reviews Games and DVDs. For both Games and DVDs you might want to add the category ‘Value’ as it’s applicable to both types of reviews.

Now, let’s say you want to add a special category for DVDs called ‘DVD Extras’ so that visitors can review the extras which are bundled with the DVD (ie. deleted scenes, alternate ending, trailers etc) and a category for Games called ‘Graphics’. Currently as it stands, both categories would be displayed on all reviews however clearly ‘Graphics’ has nothing to do with DVDs and ‘DVD Extras’ isn’t relevant to video games.

This clearly limits how you can use the plugin ie. it restricts your review site to one type of product. Hopefully in the future Dan can address this issue as I believe it would give users more options on what kind of review site they can build.

Auto-Embed Settings

The ‘Auto-Embed Settings’ section makes it incredibly easy to change the way ratings are displayed in your posts.

Other Display Settings

Dan has included an option to reorder posts by the average rating of posts. This is a nice feature and one which will suit many types of review sites.

This section also lets you customise the way ratings are displayed. Another welcome feature as too many plugins put the stylesheet for the plugin in some obscure folder and you need to manually edit and reupload the file.

Bonus : Affiliate Links

Also included in the package is an option to replace certain words with links. I don’t think it’s worth the $67 that WP Review claims it costs but it is a nice addition and in practice it works incredibly well.

Final notes

  • The product has an affiliate program through Clix Galore where affiliates can earn 30%.
  • The plugin may not enhance some blogs. By that I mean that you will get the best value from this plugin by building a review site from scratch and make the ratings the main focus of the site. For example, I could add a ratings option to posts at BloggingTips but it wouldn’t be very useful. At best it would be an overly complicated post rating system. Not that this is a bad thing as this plugin was meant to be used for review sites and not blogs ie. the plugin simply uses the WordPress backend.
  • To be able to rate you need to post a comment. I know that this does mean that scores should be more accurate but it would be good if you had the option to rate a post/product without entering a comment (though I don’t know if this is practical to add considering how this plugin works).
  • Overall, very easy to install, use and maintain ie. it makes building a review website childs play!
  • Free upgrades for life

Overview

WPReview is by no means the perfect script but if you take the time to develop a review site using this plugin the $97 you spend will likely end up being a bargain (particularly if you choose the right niche).

I have a few review ideas in mind which I think would work well with this plugin. I’m going to design one this week and see if I can get the most from it. I’m sure once I develop one it will give me some ideas for more (for example Tyler Cruz suggested a photo rating site). In that respect, potential buyers who plan on developing a few sites with this plugin should buy the multi site license ($199).

If you have a good idea for a review site then I strongly encourage you to check WPReview out. There are many ratings scripts available but this is by far the easiest and most practical to use. Also, remember that since this script uses WordPress, there are hundreds of great plugins which you could use in conjunction to enhance your site.

If you have any questions about the plugin please leave a comment 🙂

Links :

WPReview
John Chow’s Review of WPReview
Tyler Cruz’s Review of WPReview

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Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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WordPress Plugins

7 Must-Use WordPress Plugins to Engage with Your Audience

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7 Must-Use WordPress Plugins to Engage with Your Audience

7 Must-Use WordPress Plugins to Engage with Your Audience

WordPress is a great platform where you can run your blog. However, a success of a blog is not determined by the tools you use. Ultimately, it’s not important if you’re using the best WordPress plugins or the most responsive themes if you can’t engage people with your content.

Also, writing an informative and useful post is one thing. But to get people excited with your posts and encourage them to participate and discuss your content with others is another thing.

Eventually, you need to get people on board with what you write if you want to consider your blog as a success. By building a sustainable readership over time, you can increase your influence over them and get them to commit to your calls to action – whether it’s to subscribe to your mailing list or buy something from you!

To boost your engagement with your audience, below are the right plugins that you need to use and leverage.

1. PushEngage

pushengage

Email marketing has been an effective way of engaging with your audience. But if you are handed a better alternative, it’s always a smart thing to try and check it out too.

PushEngage is a simple plugin that allows websites to send web push notifications to reach and engage with its visitors on desktop or mobile. It’s where you can easily create customized updates or offers to get them to convert into paying customers or high-value followers.

In 3 easy steps, you can already integrate and start using it on your site. Fortunately, for new site owners with less than 2500 subscribers, PushEngage will always be free.

2. Feedify

Feedify is intended to win you more fans and customers by communicating with them through the use of surveys, feedback forms, personalized messages, and intelligent notifications.

By getting your customers feedbacks, think of how much improvements you can make on your site. This may be the key to increase your website’s traffic leading to the boost in your sales and customer base.

This plugin also provides profound insights that allow you to target based on your visitor’s location, time zone, the device used, and a lot more.

3. Engage Form

engage form

Engage Form stays true to its name. This plugin is a drag and drop form builder that is easy to use even with no coding experience required. With the Engage Form plugin, you simply copy and paste the shortcode into any page of your site, and it will be displayed accordingly. This plugin is also integrated with Askimet, so you don’t need to worry about spam.

Many people seem to forget the importance of having a good user experience for their visitors. A web form’s role is to be the medium where your audience reaches out to you to ask for more information about what’s on your site. This way, you add more opportunities for them to engage with you without hassle.

4. WP Quiz

The WP Quiz plugin helps you build a responsive, dynamic, and highly interactive quizzes that you can ask your visitors. Apparently, people like to know more about themselves so testing them with a particular topic they are interested in is going to inspire and challenge them at the same time.

With this, You don’t only interact with your audience; you also encourage them to share their results on social media. This is another advantage of integrating quizzes on your site because according to Huffington Post, it’s one of the most shared pieces of content online.

To get you started, you can start with a trivia type quiz to spark your readers’ interest. Finally, WP Quiz doesn’t cost you a penny because it’s being offered for free to everyone.

5. Disqus

disqus

Building a base of a loyal audience is tough for all website owners. You want them to interact with your content and vice versa regularly; you also want to keep in touch with them. Installing the plugin called Disqus is a quick upgrade to the default WordPress commenting system.

Disqus has made itself a name in the industry as being one of the top commenting systems that most websites in different formats used for the longest time. Moreover, it’s not a secret that there are a lot of spams and trolls that are lurking on the web. With this plugin, you can easily monitor and ban users according to their reputation to avoid any headaches they may cause.

6. Related Posts for WordPress

Related Posts for WordPress plugins helps readers navigate within your website by showing them content that’s related and recommended by you. If it’s a struggle to keep them after reading one article you created, perhaps you’re missing an opportunity to get them to stay.

Additionally, this plugin helps increase your blog’s internal traffic without having to sacrifice its speed. Related Posts for WordPress also focuses on performance; it has its cache to avoid stressing your server.

7. WordPress Calls to Action

inbound now

Adding Call to Action (CTA) buttons on your website is a no-brainer. It’s always been an effective strategy to convert your casual visitors into full-on subscribers. Fortunately, installing the WordPress Calls to Action Plugin helps site owner create their Call to Action buttons while monitoring and tracking its effectiveness. Using this plugin, you can also A/B test which of your CTAs are working well or failing miserably.

The WordPress Calls to Action Plugin by Inbound Now is fully extendable and customizable, meaning, you can also create your custom designs and pop-ups to improve your conversion rates.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to improve engagement with your audience to give you leverage and helps you better understand your website traffic. It’s always important to keep track of all the behavioral patterns of your visitors, and it’s not that hard to do so.

You must not forget the importance of your visitors’ experience within your site especially now that websites are no longer limited to only providing informational content, but also being a medium of communication for sharing info with other end users.

By just adding the relevant plugins as mentioned you’re a step closer to utilizing and harnessing your site’s capabilities further.

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Blogging

Best Plugin to Add Schema Microdata To WordPress Pages

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You must often be reading about how small blogs are scoring on search engines. Yes, it is true and how do they do this I am going to tell through this post on the best plugin to add schema microdata to WP pages. Before going deep into the best plugin to do so, et’s explore a little about schema microdata.

What is schema?

Schema is basically an organized microdata which you exhibit on your webpages with HTML code to communicate the search engines about added statistics in your post.

The plugins help you in adding productive info and can also mechanically take in http://schema.org/Blog and http://schema.org/BlogPosting graphics to your pages and posts.

To set up plugins may sound little technical to you with no experience of trying anything like that. But don’t worry it does not require any expertise and you can easily establish these plugins in your webpages.

Google extends a Rich Snippet Testing Tool to analyse and verify the added microdata in your pages and content.

What is Microdata?

Microdata is a description for machine decipherable data to be entrenched within the current content of HTML records. To execute schema using microdata, basically you will be

To implement schema using microdata, mainly you will choose your present HTML and affix numerous aspects and perhaps components. You will have to correct your theme for the following standards. If you are using a theme made by someone else, then be sure you generate a child theme; otherwise your alterations could be overwritten if the author revises their theme.

Type of schemas microdata for your webpages can be –organisation pages, movie analysis, personal and products details, book info, and reviews.

Best Plugins to add Schema Microdata to WP pages

1)Recipe Schema

Recipe Schema Plugin

With Recipe Schema, you can insert thumbnails to the Google results for your Recipes. The plugin adds schema microdata to your WP blog and flashes your page correctly on search engines. Through Recipe Schema you can add recipes from various sources like you can import from an existing post or the web, and also add a recipe into a post.

Features:

  • Take recipes from current posts by Selecting and Tagging recipe segments
  • Recipes are spontaneously arranged and can be modified using CSS
  • Write new recipes with the help of free-form text entry, as an alternative to irritating fields for each line
  • Distinct configuring and a print button makes it easy for guests to print recipes
  • Allow users to quickly save recipes to their Facebook Timeline

Download here

2) SchemaNinja

Best Schema Plugin WordPress

Yes SchemaNinja is my baby product and I made it with love to help bloggers out who are looking schema rating plus recommendations.

It is a Rich Snippet and Recommendation Plugin to add Schema Microdata to your WordPress pages. This plugin trails all the Google Standards and operates according to that. It helps in adding the following types of Schemas like- review, software, product application, video, and articles. So far this plugin has 70 plus installs and no one has complained any breaks. It is one of the most advanced Schema Rating WordPress Plugin.

The plugin is suitable for all type of content and is beneficial for generating Schema Ratings to your website or blog. The plugin is best for bloggers, CPA and affiliate marketers, product sellers, and freelancers.

Features:

  • Star Ranking
  • Schema Amalgamation
  • Affiliate Link Combination
  • Personal Licence
  • Commendations
  • Cal-to-action controls
  • Personalisation

Download here

3) Author Hreview

 Author Hreview

The plugin enables the writer to insert Schema.org markup preferences for merchandise reviews. You can easily add a reviewed product to any blog/website, and this plugin will show stars below the post. You can even conceal the ratings from readers. Attaching this schema.org markup will display your rating, writer’s name and price in the search engines results and also enhance your overall ranking.

Features:

  • It is an all-inclusive plugin for blogs
  • It is simple to install and easy-to-use
  • You can get Maximum 5 ratings
  • Fully adjustable plugin as you can change the presentation as per your need
  • Boosts CTR and overall ranking of the page

Download here

4) itemprop WP for SERP/SEO Rich Snippets

Append schema.org itemprop cipher to the (custom) post substance for search engines and boost your SERP outcomes. Itemprop plugin is very uncomplicated. It operates using WordPress basic utility to sieve constituent attributes and affixing < meta > tags with schema.org item properties.

This plugin will not fix poorly encoded WordPress sites. This plugin will generate minor codes within your full content, with new microdata from schema.org. The plugin presumes that your content page is not incorporated wholly with HTML5’s data properties for microdata

Features:

  • Works on single pages
  • Easy to implement on webpages
  • Best option for properly coded website

Download here

5) All-in-one Scema.org Rich Snippet

The plugin is the best solution to add schema microdata to WP pages and also help in increasing your website’s Click Through Rates and enhance SEO and Rankings. You can install this plugin directly through your dashboard. At present, it supports all types of content that are published by schema.org at one location.

Features:

  • Enjoy bug-free blogging with All-in-one schema.org rich snippet
  • Provides search engines with relevant info to be displayed
  • Assist your blog in ranking high among other competitors
  • Interactive approach vis reviews, star ratings, price, author, apps
  • The updated version will cover up-breadcrumbs, local business, and books.

6) Facebook Open Graph, Google+ and Twitter Card Tags

 Facebook Open Graph Google and Twitter Card Tags — WordPress Plugins

it is a lightweight plugin that inserts Facebook OpenGraph and Schema.Org corresponding microdata to headings to help out search engines to display rich snippet and mark your blog far better. This plugin also allows Facebook, Google+ and Twitter handlers to share your blog with correct title, explanation, URL and picture.

Features:

  • Customised citation of the Facebook Share/Like explanation. Takes the first 250 typescripts of the blog post if no custom citation is found.
  • The post refers to Facebook Share/Like and Microdata title.
  • Capacity to outline default thumbnail if no picture is found from the post
  • Appends more rich snippets to make the webpages stand out

Download here

Conclusion

So, adding Schema to your WP pages will help the search engines and other apps to understand the content of a web page and then display it in a particular manner. Now it is up to you to decide which plugin you are going to choose from the above-mentioned best plugins to add schema microdata to WordPress pages. What are you favorite plugins to add Schema microdata to your WordPress pages. 

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WordPress Plugins

My Personal List of Best WordPress Plugins for 2017

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I love WordPress. It has been my CMS of choice for years. However, at its core, the WordPress framework is very minimalistic.  

My WordPress sites would be useless without the right plugins. I have found a number of really cool plugins that provide the functionality my blogs need. Here are the ones that I recommend for 2017.

WPForms

Bloggers depend on forms to receive feedback from their followers. There are a number of form plugins, but most are too basic.

WPForms is one of the best I’ve come across. This plugin lets you create contact, email opt-ins, e-commerce order and other forms your site may need.

Sucuri

There are plenty of reasons WordPress is an awesome CMS. Security is not on the list. Nearly three-quarters of WordPress sites are vulnerable to hackers. Over 16,000 WordPress sites were hacked between January and September of last year.

If you don’t have a decent web security plugin installed, you need to get one immediately. Sucuri is one of the best.

There are many reasons cautious bloggers are using Sucuri to keep their sites secure:

  • Sucuri is one of the best defenses against DDoS attacks.
  • Sucuri cleans up hacked up websites. If your site has been blacklisted by Google or flagged for malware, these problems can be reversed after you install Sucuri and get the problems resolved.
  • Sucuri identifies and disables brute force hacking attempts.

This is a premium app, so you will need to pay based on the level of protection you want. The cheapest plan costs $16.66 a month. This pales in comparison to the cost of having your website hacked, which most free plugins aren’t as equipped to protect against.

Disqus Commenting

The default WordPress installation allows visitors to leave comments on your posts. However, it isn’t the most engaging setup. The commenters can provide comments to you, but can’t really interact with other commenters.

Disqus is a more seamless and sophisticated commenting platform. It allows child comments, so users can create discussions with each other, instead of just commenting on your post. Your users can even be emailed when someone replies to their comments.

It turns your blog into a mini-social network. Many people will likely return to your blog just to engage with other users on Disqus. It’s also important to note that blog commenting was one of the most used methods for growing engagement and backlinks to websites and blogs in an ethical matter. This is according to more than 60 experts who were asked about their preferred methods of content creation and link building.

NextGEN Gallery

If you’re running a blog in a very visual niche, you’ll need a plug-in that lets you showcase lots of images at a time. NextGEN Gallery does the job very well.

It has been downloaded over 16 million times in the past 10 years, because it’s the best gallery management plugin available.

This plug-in makes it easy to upload multiple images at a time, sort and rearrange images, create thumbnails and import meta-data.

CSS Hero

If you want to make any modifications to your theme, then you will need to do so through the CSS templates. Unfortunately, CSS is pretty complex and many bloggers aren’t willing to take the time to learn it.

CSS Hero is a great plugin that handles your CSS coding for you.

The Ever Growing World of WordPress Plugins

While I’ve listed some of my favorite WordPress plugins for you to consider, it would be a huge mistake to simply stop here. Be sure to check out the ever-growing list of plugins available through WordPress’ directory. No matter what you would like to accomplish with your site, there is a good chance there will be a plugin out there for you.

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