24 Tools to Maximize Your Website

Used by Matt Morse

There are two things you must have to get started... a hosting provider and a domain. There are many options available but I've had great experiences with Bluehost, for both hosting and purchasing domains. They offer a very affordable and reliable hosting service, starting at $3.95/month and domains starting at $9.99/year. 

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Wordpress.org is an open-source content management platform which is the foundation of a majority of sites that I build. Within Wordpress, you will have the ability to create multiple posts, pages, install plugins, etc... It is very user-friendly with a clean backend dashboard. *Bluehost has an easy one-click install option to add Wordpress to your domain.

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X Pro Theme

Pro is a Wordpress theme with a built-in visual webpage builder that allows you to create webpages that look and feel consistent with your brand. There are millions of themes available, but at $79/license, I don't think you'll find more bang for your buck anywhere else. (I love how responsive this theme is to render your site correctly on all device sizes!)

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Google Analytics

How many people are visiting your site? Where are they coming from? Google Analytics breaks it all down for you in a user-friendly dashboard that allows you to create custom reports on a weekly or monthly basis.

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Facebook Comments

Wordpress comes with a default commenting system built-in, but you can easily install a Facebook Comments extension to replace the default with integrated Facebook comments. This does not post to Facebook, but allows the user to post with the Facebook profile, which creates a unique community and increased credibility.

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Yoast SEO

Want to rank higher on Google search results? Yoast SEO's free plugin for Wordpress allows you to target specified keywords and optimize your pages to rank higher in Google. They also have a premium option available for more advanced users.

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Contact Form 7

You'll want to integrate contact forms on your site, whether it's for general inquiries, speaking engagements, product questions, etc... Contact Form 7 is a Wordpress plugin that allows you to embed a form on any page.

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Pixel Your Site Pro

Facebook Ads allow you to track all visitors to your site, what they do on your site, and retarget them accordingly. That is all possible by inserting a piece of code that is much easier by using a plugin like Pixel Your Site Pro, which starts at $80/license.

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Affiliate WP

Starting at $99/year, this affiliate plugin allows you to create an affiliate dashboard for users who want to share your products and get paid for doing so. You can set the commissions as a flat rate $ or % based on your specific campaigns.

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Blubrry PowerPress

If you want to host a podcast, this is a great FREE plugin that will allow you to publish your podcast episodes on your website and then push them through to Apple Podcasts, Google Play, etc...

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Adobe Photoshop

There are many different software options available to create visually stunning graphics, such as Canva, but at the end of the day, Photoshop remains the most robust option for creating graphics of any size for any platform. You can download this app for $19.99/month.

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Creating visually stunning graphics can sometimes lead to large file sizes and slow page load times. TinyPNG is a great place to compress and optimize your photos without any loss in quality. They have an online option at TinyPNG.com, as well as a Wordpress plugin to automatically compress any photos you upload to your site.

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Once you have visitors on your site, you're going to want to offer them ways to subscribe to your e-mail list. ConvertPlus has a paid option on their site, but a license is included with X Pro Theme (mentioned above).

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Now, this is cool! If you install Hotjar on your site, they'll provide you with heatmaps of where users are clicking and scrolling on your site. They've got a free trial available right now at the link below...

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There's going to be times that you want to seamlessly provide a link to an external page or a long URL... This free Wordpress plugin allows you to redirect any URL on your domain to wherever you choose. This allows you to create shorter URLs which improves readability on social media, in e-mails, or elsewhere.

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Smart Podcast Player

Blubrry is great for hosting your podcast, but if you want to embed a fancy podcast player on your site, I highly recommend Smart Podcast Player. This starts at $8/month and if you're going to be podcasting regularly, I think it's worth your investment.

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If you want to sell products on your site, WooCommerce is the way to go. They have endless customization options and integrate with all popular plugins and payment processors. They have a free Wordpress plugin that will allow you to be up and selling very quickly.

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WooCommerce Subscriptions

If you want to add recurring subscriptions to your site (such as a membership site, or a product with a payment plan), the $199.99 investment in WooCommerce Subscriptions will save you lots of time and headaches. Trust me on this one.

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As they say, Stripe is the new standard in accepting online payments... Now, there are several options out there but Stripe is one of the few that support recurring subscription renewals. You can install a Stripe integration on your site, connect your bank to Stripe, hook it up to WooCommerce, and you're ready to go.

Learn More About Stripe

This is an advanced option for the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enthusiasts out there. Moz Pro is an all-in-one suite of SEO tools to optimize your site. They have a free trial and then it'll run you $149/month.

Learn More About Moz

Can't figure out why your site is taking so long to load? GTMetrix is a free, online software that will analyze your site and tell you exactly what is requiring significant resources to load. They'll also give you some great recommendations on how to improve your load time.

Learn More About GTMetrix
Google Search Console

This is another tool that will help you optimize for search results by adding a sitemap, crawling and indexing your site regularly so that your most recent updates are reflecting accurately in Google, and much more...

Learn More About Google Search Console
Google Page Speed Insights

Similar to GTMetrix, Google Page Speed Insights will analyze your site, how it renders on all devices, and provide you with several recommendations to improve load times.

Learn More About Google Page Speed Insights
Full Page Screen Capture

This free Google Chrome extension allows you to screenshot your entire page in one image, rather than only what is visible on your screen. This is great for capturing elements of other sites that you want to model, or showing a new site to a client.

Learn More About Full Page Screen Capture

Are you ready to take your website to the next level?

Get Instant Access to Matt's Website Evaluation Tool!

This easy-to-use template will allow you to evaluate your current website and identify several of the small tweaks you can make to produce greater results!

Download Website Evaluation Tool for $7