From time to time I’d like to share with you not only what I do to make money online, but also my methods and ways of working.
For this reason, today I’d like to highlight 4 tools/services that have really boosted my productivity during the past few months, I’m sure you’ll find some, if not all, of them helpful in your blogging work.
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you decide to buy through one of the links below I will receive a small commission.
Productivity Booster #1 – WordPress Managed Hosting
I’ve recently been moving some of my bigger blogs from shared hosting to managed WordPress hosting. WP Mayor and my personal blog were switched over to WP Engine. To be honest I was a bit hesitant about moving these sites, but as soon as I got them migrated (which was a really smooth process), I instantly knew I had made the right decision.
Why? Well, when you switch to managed WordPress hosting you usually get:
- Improved site loading times
- A more responsive admin panel
- A secure and managed server environment
- Access to WordPress server experts
There’s no doubt that both Google and site visitors are enjoying the improved loading times. Traffic on WP Mayor has doubled since the switch to managed WordPress hosting.
When I add up the seconds saved here and there while working within the admin panel, they definitely add up to hours. More time for me to do other things, great!
An increase in a site’s popularity usually brings with it more malicious activity, so knowing that there is a team making my server as secure as possible saves me a lot of worry.
Finally, access to a responsive team of WordPress server experts is a very nice thing to have. Not only do they take care of server-related issues, but they also give advice on performance optimisation and which plugins to make use of.
Hosting is such an essential thing for any website, yet it’s so hard to find a web host that leaves you completely satisfied. I’m glad I’ve found mine in WP Engine, and I wholeheartedly recommend them to you if you’re thinking about making a change towards better web hosting for your website.
WP Engine offer several different packages, so check both of them out and see which one suits you best. With regards to support and dedication, I can vouch for them.
Productivity Booster #2 – BackupBuddy
I’ve got the BackupBuddy plugin from iThemes installed on all my websites, and for a very good reason.
Not only does BackupBuddy allow me to schedule automatic backups from my sites to my backup server, but it also includes tremendously useful features such as the migration facility and security scanning.
If you are do development work from time to time, you will certainly appreciate the site migration facility. Remember the days when you developed on your local server and then had to go through the boring, error prone task of migrating the finished site to the live server?
Well, you can forget that because with BackupBuddy you can now do the whole thing with zero configuration and hassle. If you find that hard to believe check out the screencast I recorded, in which I show you the whole process from start to finish.
The security scanning feature turns out to be useful when I need to clean a WordPress site that has been infected with malicious code. Running the security scan will reveal all those files that have been infected, so then I only need to go in and clean those files. Job done.
Productivity Booster #3 – Genesis Theme
Are you one of those few people who haven’t heard of the amazing Genesis theme by StudioPress yet?
If the answer is YES, then visit the StudioPress website to know what I’m talking about.
There are loads of WordPress themes out there, but which ones are truly top quality? That’s the million dollar question and one that many people will never get the answer for.
However, now that I’ve discovered and used Genesis, there’s no turning back for me. From now onwards, there would have to be a very good reason for me not to use Genesis as the framework for any new WordPress website I build.
With Genesis, you get:
- A framework of high quality code
- A theme that is best-in-class for security
- Frequent releases of sexy child themes
When you are harnessing the power of such a framework + child themes, you can really cut a big chunk of your development time, and it’s a whole lot more enjoyable to boot.
Oh wait, I forgot, one of the very best things of working with Genesis is there are no complicated licence terms to keep in mind. You buy Genesis for a one-time fee, and you get support and updates for life? I don’t know of any other theme shop which can beat that offer.
And before you wonder how they can possibly provide such value, let me tell you that the support forum is amazing, you will get timely and informative help, and I can guarantee that you’ll learn a lot about WordPress coding in general by just looking at how the StudioPress themes are built or browsing through the forums.
Productivity Booster #4 – Camtasia Studio
This is the latest weapon in my arsenal.
Camtasia Studio lets me record screencasts and tutorials with incredible ease.
One other resolution I have for 2013 is that of focusing more on video. I want to create screencasts about WordPress and cool plugins I find, and this is the tool that I’m going to be using.
Compared to other software I had used before, mainly to create tutorial videos for clients, this is by far the most full-featured and easy to use program, and is available for both Windows and Mac.
Camtasia’s video help tutorials are invaluable, as they not only show you how to use the software, but also teach you a great deal about screencasting in general.