I have a portfolio of websites and blogs, which serve all kinds of purposes. Along the way, I’ve experimented with a massive range of tools to ensure that I’m doing everything I can to grow them and keep track of the ones I don’t do much for week-to-week. Below details all of the extensions, tools and suites I use to make them all tick.
It all starts with the name – which domain you’re going to use for your site. The process can be as lengthy you wish it to; just make sure you register it in the most convenient (or cheapest way) you can.
NameCheap: The cheapest .com domains. Visit.
TSOhost: Great for .co.uk domains and keeping hosting and domains together. Visit.
GoDaddy: For additional domains, an easy access to resale market. Visit.
NameChek: Domain and social handle availability checker. Visit.
Impossibility: Domain generator; name inspiration. Visit.
Now you have the name, who’s going to keep that site online? I’ve been through a fair few hosts and have pretty much settled on just the following two.
TSOhost: Cheap hosting for low traffic websites. Visit. Use the promo code CHIINO for 10% off.
HostGator: For higher traffic websites. Visit. Use the coupon code CHIINO for 25% off.
Now you know your host, the next step is to figure out what you’re going to make your website with. Let’s keep things as simple as possible. For most sites, I’d recommend one of the following two.
WordPress: Ideal for blogs and all kinds of content sites. Visit.
Never go into a project blindly. Assume that everyone knew what they were doing when they created their websites. In that case, you need to do the same. All of these tools are helpful, whether you’re pre-launch or five years into owning a website.
Web Developer: Free extensions to strip back any website to its fundamental elements. Download.
SEOquake. Quick, on-the-go website auditing. Download.
Ghostery: Free extension to discover what tracking is being used by websites. Download.
SimilarWeb: Free extension to get basic traffic information for other websites. Download.
Link Redirect Trace: URL redirect trace analyser. Download.
WP Theme Detector: Discover what WordPress theme is in use. Visit.
It was a dark day when Google’s Keyword Planner transformed into its current state. To make up for it, here are some tools that make keyword research that little bit easier.
Keywords Everywhere: Keyword research on the go for individual terms. Download.
Fatrank: Chrome extension to quickly check individual keyword rankings. Download.
A website isn’t saying much if it hasn’t got some backlinks. While there’s an arms race for the most URLs crawled, I usually settle for the following two for most of my needs.
Majestic: Analyse backlink profiles at a glance or in-depth. Extension download. Website.
Nofollow: Chrome extension to check for nofollow links. Extension download.
Does everyone else find reporting therapeutic? I suppose it’s only that way if things are on the up. Whatever the case, these are the main things I use to see how my websites are performing.
Google Analytics: Full suite to analyse website traffic. Sign up.
Search Console: Organic search visibility tracker. Sign up.
SEO Power Suite: Comprehensive SEO suite. Download.
There’s a bag of tools that come in handy for most things but don’t fit snugly into a particular category. The following is that list. They’re quite administrative, but all oh so vital.
LastPass: To keep track of the masses of passwords and login information you need for vast website portfolios. Download.
Dropbox: Freemium reliable, straightforward cloud storage. Sign up.
Slack: Freemium outsourced remote team communication. Sign up.
Every website has its own requirements, so if I was to do a list of plugins, it’s never going to be definitive. However, I feel every single WordPress site is going to need to use these in some shape or form.
Yoast: Free comprehensive SEO plugin, allowing you to optimise every inch of your site. Download.
All in One Schema Rich Snippets: The easiest way to Schema your site to the max for free. Download.
Smush: Reduce media file sizes upon upload for free. Download.
WP Super Cache: Probably the best free caching plugin around. Download.