These are the SEO services, software and plug-ins I use. Some are free, some have free and paid versions and some have only a paid version. Of course, if there is a paid version it usually provides additional features which are worth paying for. With some or all of these I may have an affiliate relationship but I will never recommend something if I don’t use it and didn’t feel it was worth it.
Learning Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
I started learning search engine optimization in the mid-1990s by doing a lot of reading and testing. My guiding principle and secret to success was to provide what I thought search engines would want to see. I have read many search engine optimization newsletters and still continue to do so. The best one I have read is The UnFair Advantage Search Engine Book which you can try for the next 7 days FREE! It’s extremely inexpensive and well worth the price. (I am an affiliate)
I have nearly 1000 domain names and previously had them at a great bulk rate with an enom reseller but recently moved them to GoDaddy because they are a little more than $1 less and have telephone support which I did not previously have. After spending several days looking at various domain registration companies, I found that GoDaddy had both the best price and service. It’s not often that I need telephone support but for the once or twice a year instance it’s really nice to be able to get help quickly on the phone. (I’ll make a few cents on this) Domain Sale! $7.49 .com at GoDaddy | Get up to 5 new .COMs, $5.99 per year for the 1st year!
This is one that I can’t recommend. I have used several hosting companies and I’m about to try another. I used IX Webhosting years ago because they were very inexpensive, offered multiple dedicated IP addresses and had telephone support but their security was awful and my websites were frequently hacked. Worse, they shut down my websites blaming the hacked accounts on my software but when I moved my websites to Site5.com, the hacking stopped. I have been very happy with Site5.com for the last three years, but I’m rather unhappy with them at the moment. The hosting company which I am currently considering is inmotionhosting.com (I am not an affiliate with this company) or Bluehost (I am an affiliate with this company). I do have an extreme preference for Linux hosting rather than Windows hosting. Unlike the home and office computer world, in the website world there is a lot more software available for Linux hosting and I believe that Linux hosting is far more secure.
There are many ways you can manage your website content from HTML, scripts using PHP, and content management systems. I use all of these (I have hundreds of websites). There are paid content management systems and free open source content management systems. While some content management systems like Drupal seem very interesting and look very nice, I have been using WordPress which is probably the most popular. WordPress is free. There are thousands of add-on software for WordPress called plugins, some of which are free, some of which have free and paid versions and some of which have only paid versions. I use quite a few free plug-ins and whenever there is a paid version, I use the paid version because the cost is almost always low and well worth it. Check out WordPress
Premium WordPress Plugins That Are Worth Buying!
WPMU DEV – Membership entitles you to use all of their premium plug-ins and themes for WordPress. I am a member and an affiliate.
A mobile ready website is a must to get more website visitors and avoid losing mobile and IPad visitors (I am an affiliate) – Learn more about WPtouch Pro »
Auto tweet your WordPress posts (I am an affiliate) – Learn more about WordTwit Pro »
Free WordPress Plugins
WordPress SEO by Yoast – one of the best free plug-ins you can get for WordPress! This includes probably the best search engine sitemap, so you don’t need a separate plug-in for that.
GD Star Rating – This free plugin will help increase traffic. Read this useful article by Yoast which shows a change you should make to the default choice in the settings for rich snippets.
Broken Link Checker – This is another great free plug-in that will save a lot of time to keep broken links off of your WordPress website and makes it easy to update links. Broken links will result in website visitors leaving your website frustrated and many broken links shows Google that your site is not well maintained. There is an option to stop search engines from following broken links and many other sophisticated options.
I will be adding the rest of my favorites shortly.
My favorite tool for syndicating website content via social sharing is Addthis. Addthis is free, works with any website and has a WordPress plug-in. Addthis provides real-time analytics and lets you see analytics for all of your websites under one login. Try it now at the top or bottom of this page.
The commenting system I use here is IntenseDebate which is free! I also use an awesome comment plugin called commentluv which has a free version but I use the paid version (it’s only a small onetime for life payment). I am an affiliate. By the way, commentluv is a free plugin with IntenseDebate. If you’re interested in getting comments on your site, you’re probably also making comments on other sites, so make sure you have a Gravatar which is a free service. A Gravatar is an icon, image or photo which you choose to represent you. Read a good article on what a Gravatar is and using Gravatars. Read a good article about making comments on blogs by Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz.org.
Twilert – a free web app that enables you to receive email updates of tweets containing your brand, product, service, or any keyword.
Custom Software Programming / Coding
If you can’t afford to hire your own programmers / coders and don’t want to pay high prices to companies to develop your software or debug your existing software, you can have coders, programmers, graphic illustrators and others bid to do your work. vWorker (formally Rent a Coder) is a great website that will have thousands of programmers or other professionals bid to complete your project, no matter how small or large. Once you accept a bid, you deposit your money with Vworker Which holds onto your money until you state that your project has been completed successfully. They act as an sort of auction platform, escrow agent and arbitrator. I have been using them for a long time and have been extremely happy with the service. If your project is very important or more time sensitive, I suggest that you limit bids to programmers in the United States who are highly rated. Take a look at vWorker