5 Must-Have Free WordPress Plugins for your Website or Blog!

5 Must-Have Free WordPress Plugins for your Website or Blog!

If you have a WordPress website or blog, or you are thinking of starting one, here are 5 Must-have plugins that every website should have!

The list consists of free plugins that can help to have a more secure and robust website while getting more traffic, more customers.

1. Security

Once you get your website deployed, the first thing you need to do is to make sure that is not vulnerable to malicious attacks from the hackers. Our recommendation for a security plugin is Wordfence.Wordfence

It is the most downloaded security plugin for WordPress websites.

 WordFence downloads

This plugin notifies you via email about the security issued that your website has: when a new plugin needs to be updated, a summary about all the blocked hacked attempts to your website, etc.

Here are some of its features:

  • Powered by the constantly updated Threat Defense Feed, the Web Application Firewall stops you from getting hacked.
  • Wordfence Scan leverages the same proprietary feed, alerting you quickly in the event your site is compromised.
  • Live Traffic view gives you real-time visibility into traffic and hack attempts on your WordPress website.

There is also a paid version ($99/year) that has additional features such as auditing existing passwords, checking to see if your website is spamvertised (that it can severely impact your SEO rating and email deliverability), country blocking, real-time threat defence feed, check to see if Site IP is generating spam, scheduled scans, premium support, etc.

This plugin doesn’t guarantee that your website or blog won’t be hacked, but it will reduce the chances for hackers to hack your website.

2. Backup

Once you’ve dealt with security you need to be able to recover your website if something wrong might happened (deleting by mistake some pages, or plugin updates that crash, etc). So the next thing we are going to address is BACKUP plugins. A popular choice with over 4 million downloads and over 600,000 of active installations is BackWPup.

BackWPup

This plugin can be used to save your complete installation of your website as a single backup zip file and push that file on external Backup services like Dropbox, FTP, S3, etc.

If something happens you are able to easily restore an installation.

3. Contact Forms

Are you looking to add a contact form on your Website? Contact Form 7 is one of the oldest and most downloaded contact form plugin.

Contact_Form_7

If you need a basic contact form for your website or your blog, Contact Form 7 is a great choice. And there are some third party plugins (most of them free as well) that act as add-on plugins for Contact Form 7.

4. SEO – Search Engine Optimisation plugin

In order to attract more visitors from search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) you need an SEO plugin. Probably the most common one is Yoast SEO (with more than 1 Million of active installs and a 5 star review)Yoast SEO

While this plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimisation, it also helps you to write a better content for your pages. It forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your blog articles and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.

 

The Page Analysis functionality checks simple things that you might forget to do to improve your content such as: if your images have alt tag containing the focused keyword, checks to see if your post is long enough, or if you have a meta description, or if you used subheadings in your article, etc. Also, it allows you to create XML Sitemaps and notifies Google & Bing of their existence.

5. Google Analytics plugin

With over 19 million downloads and more than 1 million of active installs, Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights plugin allows you to connect your WordPress website with Google Analytics, so you can see how visitors find and use your website, where they are coming from, what are the best-performing pages/articles, etc, so you can keep them coming back. The Dashboard shows you the stats that matter.

Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

We hope this article helped you find some of the best free WordPress plugins for your website. Please share in the comments below what other free WordPress plugins do you find useful for your website or blog.

11 SKILLS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGERS

11 SKILLS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGERS

Over the years, a Project Manager (PM) has been associated with a project leader. In reality, it’s not all about the leadership but about the management of the project’s key features: the overall plan, the team, the stakeholders, the communication, the schedule, the budget, the risk, the conflicts, the expectations, the delivery and the project itself.

Nowadays, good projects managers are quite hard to find and great ones – even harder. As we speak, a good project manager is faithfully respecting the job description and following guidelines while staying on a paved road. On the other side, a great and successful project manager is waiting to be discovered. He/she is…

1. Empowering and building the right team.

Like Steve Jobs said, “great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people”. Diversity gives strength from a micro-level (a project) to a macro-level (company core values). Therefore, a successful project manager not only recruits people but cleverly uses the skills of each member to build a very strong and functional team. Empowering each individual, trusting and helping one another, working together to achieve success, all of these create the business power engine.

A successful project manager is a great TEAM PLAYER.

2. Aspiring to inspire.

There’s nothing more destructive than a manager who applies the “Do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. On the contrary, remarkable project managers lead by example and create their own story of success. This way, not only that they spread enthusiasm but they also motivate their teams to push themselves to greatness.

A successful project manager is an inspiring LEADER.

3. Facilitating and guiding the team for the project’s best outcomes.

Nowadays, anyone who wants to be a great PM has big shoes to fill. That’s because the role has become so complex that “managing” and “leading” are not enough anymore. That’s because the project performance significantly depends on how the team is facilitated to make decisions, solve problems and cope with unexpected changes. The guidance provides a teamwork improvement mechanism based on attitude, performance, abilities and results of the team.

A successful project manager is a great FACILITATOR.

4. Getting things done today, because tomorrow might bring fresh challenges.

Being a procrastinator is a big step back in the project managers’ world and it may lead to stressful work in the project delivery process. A wise project manager uses the time effectively by prioritizing, planning ahead and keeping track of the schedule and also by adapting and finding real-time solutions for the potential obstacles.

A successful project manager is a TIME MANAGEMENT GURU.

5. Going the extra mile to deliver the best results.

This may actually be one of the key differences between a good and a great project. Besides delivering what is expected from any project manager, going beyond the job description is what really makes a difference. Not only that it creates a very good impression – to the business owners, stakeholders, teams – but it also brings a personal satisfaction of adding that little “extra” to the ordinary outcomes.

A successful project manager is an OVERPERFORMER.

6. Fully implementing the communication cycle.

From connecting, listening, understanding, asking and giving feedback all the way to committing, all these stages are equally important. In addition, an effective project manager develops strong communication and emotional-intelligence skills, delivers clear and transparent messages and knows how to tailor the communication style depending on the situation.

A successful project manager is an effective COMMUNICATOR.

7. Understanding the business and applying relevant strategies in every given situation.

A valuable project manager has broad expertise in the field, an interest for continuous learning and for staying up to date with the latest technologies. He/she is aligned with the business strategic vision and is committed to moving the team forward collaboratively to a successful outcome.

A successful project manager is a qualified PROFESSIONAL who aims for continuous growth.

8. Looking at the big picture and paying close attention to detail

One of the most important tasks of project managers is to know where they want to be and how they plan to get there. In this regard, they aim to implement globally scalable and locally relevant solutions in order to have a healthy progress.

A successful project manager is a great OBSERVER.

9. Being humble, showing empathy and gratitude to the rest of the team.

More than using common sense, a wise PM would always harness his/her Emotional Intelligence skills. Understanding “the art of people”, relating to someone’s challenge by sincerely helping to overcome it and acknowledging each team member´s success make working with people an interesting and exciting thing.

A successful project manager has great PEOPLE´S SKILLS.

10. Cultivating the right sense of competition.

Any project manager who includes the idea that “the real competition is not with others but with oneself” in their personal development plan must have a very healthy way of thinking. As a matter of fact, sharing and promoting this belief with the team adds even more value. Not only that this type of competition leads to the best performances on a personal and professional level but it also contributes to the company success on the long run.

A successful project manager is always striving to be the BEST VERSION OF HIMSELF/HERSELF.

11. Innovating and being open to change.

While any project manager can strictly apply a change management process, there’s only an outstanding one that embraces and delivers the business change in a sustainable way. Being open to change means being capable to get out of the comfort zone and try new strategies that may revolutionise the entire approach and lead to greater outcomes.

A successful project manager is a fearless INNOVATOR.

 Having both the hard and the soft skills mentioned above – either inherited or developed over the course of time – will help project managers stand out from the crowd and deliver exceptional projects, one at a time. At the end of the day, they are the ones that make a difference in this high-standard, high-tech world.

Top 10 Interesting Websites You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

10 Interesting Websites You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

In the last 10 weeks we’ve presented a cool website that we found it interesting. Based of your votes, here’s our top 10.

10. Notey – best blog articles on over 500,000 topics from over 150 million blogs.
9. A good movie to watch – recommendations for highly-rated, little-known movies.
8. Life Hacker – tips & tricks to get stuff done.
7. Cool Things – cool gadgets, toys, gift ideas, inventions, furniture and many, many other interesting stuff.
6. DYI Genius – 300+ Documentaries and free ebooks collections
5. SuperCook – is a recipe search engine that lets you cook something delicious only with ingredients you have at home.
4. Speeder – read faster, comprehend more, so you can save time and be more productive in life.
3. TheNewBoston – World’s largest collection of free videos and tutorials on the web.
2. Built with – discover how a website is built (platforms, hosting details, plugins, etc)
1. 10 minutes mail – get less spam in your real inbox by using a temporary email address that expires after 10 minutes.

Let us know in the comments below which is you favorite!

Supercook

Supercook

Do you have only few ingredients at home and don’t know what to cook?

Supercook is a recipe search engine that let you search by ingredients you have at home. With 600,000 recipes you can always find something delicious to cook with a handful of ingredients. The more ingredients you add to Supercook, the better the recipes will be.food-recipe

Supercook is also a practical way to save money. Take full advantage of ingredients you already have, and naturally buy less groceries.

How do I add my ingredients?

Adding your ingredients is done on the left side panel.
You can either type (list) your ingredients one by one, or you can use the category view.
On category view, simply check off the ingredients you have on each category.

You can block entire categories, like nuts or meat, or alternatively you can block specific individual ingredients (for example pork) by typing them into the textbox, one by one.

What are the “Suggested ingredients” on the bottom of my screen?

“Suggested ingredients” are the most useful ingredients Supercook thinks you should purchase. By analysing your ingredients, exclusions and filters, Supercook figures out which ingredients would provide you with the best value.

The suggested ingredients list automatically updates to reflect any changes you make.

For example, if you choose “Cakes” from the meal type filter, the suggested ingredients will contain ingredients you’re missing that would help you make many more cakes.
If you happen to have one of the suggested ingredients in your home, just click that ingredient and Supercook will automatically add it your list of ingredients. The results will update to reflect this new change.

What are the benefits of signing up for an account?

If you sign up for an account, your ingredients, and dietary restrictions, will be saved on Supercooks servers. This means you can sign into your account from any device and everything will be synced up.
Having an account also allows you to “favorite” recipes you like so you can easily find them later.

Start cooking like a chef with few ingredients! Let me know in the comments what you cooked today!

TheNewBoston

TheNewBoston

TheNewBoston – world’s largest collection of free computer and technology related tutorials on the web.

You can choose from over 7,000 videos in programming, web design, video editing, game development, and more, and also full courses from Yale, Harvard, Stanford and UCLA from Social Sciences, Humanities, Science to Math.

If you want to impress your friends with your knowledge about Quantum Physics, or learn more about Ancient Egypt, or understand Human Emotions, there is a video for everyone.

Check it out and leave in the comments what video or course did you decide to watch.

Happy Cool Website Wednesday’s everyone!

10minutesmail

10minutesmail

 

When was the last time when you wanted to check a service or download a free ebook from a website and you were not sure if it’s worth signing up and giving your email address to be spammed for the rest of your life?

We found a solution to some of the spam that hits your inbox: 10minutesmail.com

This website does exactly what the name says: 10 Minutes Mail gives you a temporary email address that received mail that expires after 10 minutes (you can extend the expiring time by pressing a button and you’re getting another 10 minutes). Unlike many other proxy email services, doesn’t get blocked, because they’re constantly changing their domain names

You can read all the emails that are sent to this address directly in the page without needing to login to any inbox.

You can also reply to sender by clicking a button. In the past you could even forward this email to your good current address, but this functionality is temporary closed because of the abuse.

Enjoy our pick for this week Cool Website Wednesday and please don’t spam! 🙂

CoolThings – a collection of cool things

CoolThings – a collection of cool things

CoolThings is a collection of cool things.

Every day you can find different things that will interest you from gadgets, toys, gift ideas (there is even a section of cool gifts split into categories for men or for women), inventions, furniture and many, many other interesting stuff.

Even they are different, they all have one thing in common .. they are cool 🙂

If you want a device that allows you to make a phone call without having everyone in the immediate vicinity hear what you’re talking, or you want a multi-functional desk that transforms into a storage rack when not in use, or you want to make a salad in 60 seconds, or a versatile travel pillow for your next holiday make sure you check this week’s winner for Cool Website Wednesday: CoolThings.

This website updates every day, so make sure to drop by once in a while for your fix of really cool stuff!

How can you read faster?

How can you read faster?

Read 3x Faster and be more productive in life. Spreeder is the web’s leading destination for speed reading. Spreeder help you read faster, comprehend more, so you can save time and be more productive in life.

The winner of this week “Cool website Wednesday” is Spreeder.com.

If you are like me and you want to learn, to read more books and more articles, you need to read faster and to remember more from what you read.

Spreeder claims that he can help you to take control of the information overload, save time and be more productive in life. How?

Save time: power through your reading so you can spend more time doing the things you love.

Be productive: get more done so you can be more successful in your job, your study and in your life.

Be enlightened: learn fast, be up-to-date. Be educated and interesting with much less effort.

To do this, press on the “Free App” menu item. Then paste the text/article that you want to read in the text area. And press “Spreed!” button. Once you do that you are redirected in a new screen. spreeder_window

Here you can use the settings to change the “words per minute, the windows size where the words are displayed, the font size and colour, and you can group multiple words to be displayed in the same time).

Once you press the “play button” the words will start to appear on your screen. You can use “+” or “-“ from your keyboard to increase/decrease by 25 the words per minute speed.

The fastest I could read was 525 wpm with “two words” grouping.

Try it out! And in the comments below let me know how fast can you read. Drop us a link to a cool website that you find in your everyday Internet searching so we can feature here next week!

 

Life Hacker

Life Hacker

This week we’re going to talk about LifeHacker in our Wednesday Cool Website series.

LifeHacker provides tips & tricks to get stuff done.

Whether you are trying to find some tips about how to beat procrastination or you need to find a bedtime routine that helps you sleep better when travelling or you want to know if someone is tracking your emails, LifeHacker is a great site that help you solve almost any problem.

Enjoy browsing & if you know a cool website share it with us in the comments below.

Happy Cool Website Wednesday everybody!

Want to watch a good movie?

Want to watch a good movie?

Happy Cool Website Wednesday!

This week, the winner in our Cool Website Wednesday is the website AGoodMovieToWatchh.

If you want to watch highly-rated, little-known movies, you can find them on AGoodMovieToWatch.

They are suggesting fantastic movies that were overlooked and deserve a bit more love than they got. Their philosophy is: the marketing dollars shouldn’t decide the fate of a film.

The contributors of AGoodMovieToWatch website can recommend a film based on your mood, or on what’s new on Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu. They also have interesting lists created by their staff members such as “the 50 best comedy movies you’re never heard of”.

When you select a movie they recommend, you can see its rating, read the movie info, view the IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes descriptions and view the trailer. You can also see if this film is still on Netflix or not in your country.

Enjoy a movie recommended from AGoodMovieToWatch tonight! And tell us in the comments what movie did you pick.