A website is your home on the internet. It is also your online store front. People who visit our site are attracted to some of the bright and shiny things that are on our pages. Yet there are also Portions of your site that are not seen by a single person unless they look at the source and wonder, “How did they do that?” Often many WordPress plugins are not so much visible as they are being evident because of their particular task. There are several plugins that almost required installs and then there are those that are needed in a case by case basis.
Advanced Image Styles – There was a time that WordPress had a few advanced features when it came to styling of your images you placed in your blog post. A few updates ago Automatic took that feature out and thanks to Dave Jackson mentioning the same problem on School of Podcasting. I use this plugin for one reason I can add a buffer space around one side of my image or around all four sides of an image. Custom CSS attributes and link attributes can be set for each individual image.
Akismet – The Spam buster! If you have a WordPress blog then you have spam. Spammers know what file on your site, they need to hit to send out poorly worded, misspelt, links to questionable websites. A great way to keep these bot comments from seeing the light if the day is to use the Akismet plugin. There is no downloading needed. This Plug in comes installed already by Automatic. All you have to do is activate it and get an API key over at the Akismet website. You can use this for one email address for free. It is worth paying for. This plugin will drive the amount of time spent double checking a comment that sounds kind of fishy by instantly knowing if it is fishy and removing it.
Blubrry PowerPress – At first there was PodPress and the developer of this plugin gave up and just left it to fend for itself. Shortly after a WordPress update, The Plugin was mortally wounded and dying. This could have been the end of this once great plugin. Yet, it was found by Blubrry was revived and improved. To the point that it is now the most popular podcasting plugin in the WordPress Plugin repository! HAZAA! Yea the story of PowerPress is just about that epic, and is improving with each update.
In all seriousness this plug in is does all you could need to be able to submit your podcast feed to iTunes. PowerPress adds the needed iTunes tags to a podcast specific feed so your RSS feed doesn’t get too big with all of the non-podcast blog posts you my add to your site. This plugin also give you a player to place in your show notes post to help people discovering your site to be able to listen and enjoy your content.
CryptX – You want it to be easy for your fans to be able to contact you. Yet, you also don’t want your inbox full of Canadian drug spam. So how do you keep your email address visible while at the same time not opening up to the spambots? CryptX is that solution. Though the magic of their programing. You can type out your real email address and bots will only see garbled gunk. So your audience may see email@example.com but you will not get extra notices that there are Hot Russian Brides looking for you. Which honestly who believe that?
Google Analytics by Yoast – Setting up Google analytics can be a little daunting if you do not know how to navigate the editor in WordPress. Where should you put your Analytics code? This plug in does all the hard work for you. Just enter your analytics id, which is the UA-XXXXXXXXXX code and then if the desire hit you and you don’t want to show up in your own analytics you can set it so that Admins do not register on your analytics.
Google Analytics Dashboard – another little plugin by Yoast and this adds the Analytics graph to your admin dashboard. Simple and sweet
JM Twitter Cards – Twitter has a great feature called twitter cards and this plugin helps you get your twitter card all setup so that they work the way they need to. You still have to setup everything that is needed to be set up on Twitters side but all the settings that you have to do one your side are handled by this plugin. You can validate that all is good or if there is a problem. It will add the required rules for Twitters bots to the Robots.txt file. It even has deep linking for your iPhone, iPad, and android apps.
Little Hippo (Makes your BIG job small) – One of the most over looked SEO elements are your images. Often there may be a title but it is not long enough or the Alt tag was forgotten. Little Hippo will help you correct these little SEO problems in one centralized area. If your description is a little short. You will get a notice. The first time you set it up you may be there for a while because you didn’t realize how many elements were forgotten. Well at least I was
Pretty Link Lite – This isn’t just for podcasters and redirecting to your podcast episode. This valuable redirection plugin helps in anytime you need to redirect a URL to a different location, whether it is on your site or to a different site. Pretty Link is invaluable
Use Google Libraries – There are lots of JS files on your WordPress site. And having to download these files each time can take a while. For your listener it may seem like an eternity. Each download also takes up valuable resources on your host. The best way to fix the problem is allow someone else host the common JS files. And why not just let the largest website in the world with the best Content Distribution Network send out those files? That is the Google Libraries and this plugin will help shave a few seconds off of your site.
WordPress SEO – Maximize your SEO and get tips and hints on how your SEO is working with a particular keyword. For each post
WP-DBManager – Back your database up and clean it up with this plugin
Append Link on Copy – There are website scrapers like Buzzfeed that will just take portions of your site and repurpose it for their needs. This will help credit your work for your site.
As Heard On – If you are often interviewed this is a great way to pay back the favor and show people other shows you have been on. This plug in is created by Dustin Hartzler of your Website engineer podcast
Better Click To Tweet – Great plug in for adding a clickable link for people to tweet a little quote from your
Better Writing – Having people being able to understand what they are reading is always a good thing. This plugin puts a widget on the sidebar of the post you are righting and lets you know if you are writing is being understood by using Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease test. It produces a little dial that grades your post as you go.
Broken Link Checker – Sites come and go and broken links are bad for your SEO. It is good to have a process tell you if a link is good or bad so you can correct the problem quickly before Google sees it and reacts. This Plugin will email you a notice of any broken links found
Jetpack – yes a bit of a resource hog but there are a couple of good plugins in this one plugin the protect and Spelling and grammar checker are the reasons I use this plugin
Revision Control – WordPress backs up your revisions and can, after a while get a little unwieldy Revision control fixes this with the ability to lock revisions to how ever many you want.
My Shortcodes – Shortcodes are great when you figure out how easy they are. They make repeated entries like the Review the show action at the bottom of this page. Is a shortcode.
Official StatCounter Plugin – I like to have a secondary view of what my site is doing many times I will be able to get extra info or come to understand information a little better be suing a second analytics program I have chosen to use StatCounter small and as through as Google Analytics
PopupAlly – I was not one for popups for a long time but I have come to understand the power they have. As you may have noticed the pop up that shows on the site when you go to a particular page. Or when you try to leave. This is the results of this plug in. It ties into the Mailchimp and Awebber nicely
Related Posts – SEO wise you want links to your content. And this plugin links to content that is related to your posts. Now the reason that it is not in the recommended list is that it give suggested links in you post to sites outside of website.
Simple Share Buttons Adder – Social sharing is needed in today’s websites and this plug in is simple as it claims.
Smart Youtube PRO – I like this plugin because of the options it provides
Social Media Feather – Allows for links to your social media sites to be displayed at the top and bottom of your posts
Starbox – the Author Box for Humans – Microdata is needed also for SEO and Starbox adds the needed microdata to your posts for your author information.
Swiftype Search – custom search feature and allows for analytics as to what people are searching to be reviewed so you can cater to your audience’s needs
WordPress Editorial Calendar – When are you wanting that post to be published? This plugin gives you a calendar view of all posts and when they are going live. So you are able to choose what post should be released. By using an easy drag and drop feature.
Sites to use
What WP theme is that? – Often used to find out what plugin is being used on a site.
Google Webmaster Tools – helps with different problems you may be facing on your website
Google Analytics – This is a must have the information that is given is invaluable.
You home is your castle or that is how the saying goes. Your podcast has a home also it is called your website. your website is very important and as all things digital can be over run by people with too much time on their hand and misdirected motivation. These people are commonly referred to as Hackers. They may not attack your site directly but they are always looking for new sites that they can access for black hat means be it their own affiliate programs or so they can install malicious software onto your visitors computers.
The tactics these people use are sometimes amazing in execution, and results they are able to achieve border on Genius. Yet still their tactics are harmful and destructive by way of stealing viewers and/or money from your pocket. There is no way to 100% protect yourself from being the target of a hack but there are steps that can be done to keep yourself from being the easy low hanging fruit which is what hackers go after more often.
So how do you protect yourself
Update! Update! Update!
Update your WordPress
WordPress just updated to version 4.2 Powell and this update fixes a lot of “under the hood” bug fixes. This often means security fixes along with fixes to annoying problems. Updating your whole site is as easy as clicking the “Update Now” button. Though some people don’t like updating their sites because it could “Break” a plug-in or a whole site if the plugin is a part of a theme.
Update your Themes
With your site many plugin’s will either start updating their plugins before the release of a WordPress update. while others will update after the release if they are not privy to the pre-release. When you see these updates available update that theme. Many times the theme update will have the updated plugin and also repair security holes
Update your Plugins
WordPress plugins are nothing more that side programs that run in your WordPress environment. Much like how your browser runs on your Windows or iOS machine. Windows is the Operating system and your browser is a plugin. Your word processing software is a plugin. and you will get notices that these programs need to be updated from time to time.
Much like your programs you want and need to update your plugins. And update it as often as you can.Wordpress makes it easy to update and with the 4.2 update you are able to just go to your Plugins page and click on the plugin that needs the update and you will not even have to leave that page.
Remove all unused plugins
Many times you will find a different plugin that you want to try out and you find that it is better than the old plugin and so you start to have a Plugin graveyard of unused plugins. These plugins though are not being used still can provide a security hole for hackers to get in.
Back it up!
Back up your whole website and the Database. There are times that a hacker that is able to find his way into website. Will make a small change to a file in your WordPress site. This is his backdoor so when you fix the problem he is still able to get in. This spare piece of code can be anywhere. in your WordPress site. So, If you have a backup you can restore all of your files in one easy movement.
You also want to backup your database hackers love to remove that data when they hijack your site. So to keep you from losing all of your hard work, keep your database backed up once a week or No later than once a month.
Check for malware
There are several plugins that will help you check to see if you have malware
Securi Security – The Sucuri WordPress Security plugin is a security tool set for security integrity monitoring, malware detection and security hardening
Security Fence – does an inital scan that helps find any malware by referencing the core WordPress code.
Sucuri – https://sitecheck.sucuri.net/
ThreatSign – http://quttera.com/
Google Webmaster Tools is great for finding out if you are connected to a site that is causing your site to be red sites. or You are getting a “This site May Harm Your Computer” To find out just look in the “Security Issues” menu and if you have any malware that has been detected by Google it will be listed here for you to know what needs to be corrected.
Other tips you might want to use when securing your website.
Remove the Hello World blog entry and the default comment.
Remove the Admin username hackers look at this and see someone who is making it easy and has probably chosen an easy password. to make your site even tougher use Two factor authentication.
How to tell if your site has been hacked
The visible effects
Your page goes to a different site.
Your site is just different
Google Webmaster tools has a security section that will let you know what is causing your site to red sited or have the warning on the search result
your traffic stops
you start getting emails
Helpful plugins to use.
Wordfence – Great security plugin that also helps speed your site up.
BruteProtect – was actually acquired by Automatic and is not apart of Jetpack
Ways to protect your site
have a strong password the longer and more complex the better Use symbols numbers and letters. I heard there is one guy who uses his cars VIN number. A good suggestion could be an email address but not the email address you use for your site you might make up a Gmail or Yahoo address.
If there is more than one person with access to the backside of the WordPress site don’t make them admin unless you really trust them. If it is someone who is helping fix something in WordPress and then need admin access create their own login name and password and as soon as they are done remove their access. Some for if someone is leaves the group. Remove their access to the backside of the site asap.
Don’t install pirated premium plugins. almost every single one is going to have some malware code slipped into the plugin.
Podcasts.com you may of hear about this new “Free” site that is run by Emerge.com which apparently like to buy Descriptive name websites. like
and So I looked and I don’t know where they are getting this feed but they are pulling an old version of my cover art. But I decided to find out some simple questions
- With everything being free. How do you make money to be able to afford keeping the site up and running?
- I am not seeing anyway to get the direct download link to my MP3 files. How do I get to my files so that I can link them to my site? If there is no direct link for download then technically the show is not a podcast.
- Do you have stats?
- If I decide I want to leave to go to a paid service do you allow for me to redirect the feed?
- You seem to of grabbed an old version of my cover art and so how do I get the new updated version of the cover art up in its place?
Now the one item that I am finding a little odd is I remember signing up but I don’t remember adding this podcast to their line up. Because I was looking at maybe experimenting with this service. Then again if this service is just adding sites on its own I am not going to be too happy that is happening and reminds me of a service last year or so that thought podcasters should be kissing their backsides for putting them into their directory.
Then this post came out
My Podcast is at Podcasts.com – Without My Permission not good at all that they are doing this. I found my other podcast Finding Bryan listed here too and I know I didn’t add it. At the moment I am not going to spaz to much about it. WHY NOT! because I don’t know how they are making money once I see them leveraging my show to make money for them then, I will have some cross words.
You have blown through your 10 starter topics. You have a show due tomorrow. What are you going to talk about? There are ways you can search to conversation topics. You just have to get a little creative at times, while other options are very simple and can wield great results.
Brianstorm with Online community or groups
The idea for this very topic came from a Facebook groups. I I picked up last weeks topic up from a facebook group’s discussion about whether or not you need to have an RSS feed on your website. The topic captured the group so much there was lots of discussions on the topic and subtopics. Your topic is often talked about in some area of the internet. It is just a matter of finding these elusive people.
Don’t just target Facebook Groups, Google plus Communities, and LinkedIn Groups. Look to the different forums that are Centered around your topic, or if you are feeling really retro, you might check out different IRC channels. You will need an IRC client like mIRC or a web based client like KiwiIRC. There are times that you will find some great discussion on these early day chat rooms.
There are people gathered around the internet and they are talking about your area of expertise. If you spend a little time each day at a couple of these places you will be able glean some great information.
Brainstorm with Google Alerts
Want topics to be sent to your email on a daily basis? Or do you use and RSS reader and you would rather have that infomation appear there as it shows up? Then Google Alerts is a great tool to use. Google Alerts is a service that allows for you to get notifications of different search terms as they are found by Google. So, the moment Google indexes say “Microphones for podcasting” I will get an entry in my RSS reader Feedly and I can see if it is something that is worth looking in to. So, Start searching and turn it into an alert.
Brainstorm with your Guests
If you do interviews on your podcast then many times your guest will give you topic ideas. That you can either bring them back on and grow that relationship even more. Then again they may mention a person who might be of interest to interview. You can also ask your guest at the end of the show name three other people you should interview. Ask, it is quite possibly the most powerful tool when brainstorming. Ask your guest who you think should be interviewed, or what topic you think your audience would like to hear about?
Brainstorm with Your Audience
When it comes to wanting what your audience wants, there is no better source than your audience themselves. Your group has a rare insight into what they want to know and they are coming to your for that knowledge. So, they will tell you what they want many times in direct ways. Your podcast listeners will communicate their desires through email, comments, and phone calls. These may be low hanging fruit but then it may be a trend that you might start to notice and that is where the hidden gems and the power of your community comes into place.
Brainstorm with other people in your genre
Yep look to your competition. Listen to podcasts and read blogs of the same people in your field and topic of discussion. These people will many times bring up great topics just in passing without even thinking of how important it is for your followers. They could also talk about a great topic and you can then share that information with your audience. Or you can invite that person on to your show and forge a relationship with that thought leader.
What topics are your audience searching for? you might look to using a wordpress plugin like Swiftype. This plugin will actually give your search analytics to what people are searching for on your site along with a better indexing of your articles and show notes. Then there is Google’s analytics. This is the best analytics system available for the whole website. Now Google has turned off the keyword searching in whole but you can still pick out what people are after by seeing what you higher ranking pages happen to show up on your listings.
Social media in general
Try looking and doing searches for different phrases for your topic on Twitter or Google plus. With these floodgates of information moving at a continuous flow there are show ideas always running and you just have to do a search for yoru shows topic. You will find people asking questions making comments sharing articles with show topics.
Google has many great services and one of the best to show ideas is Google News. You can save different search terms in News and go back and see what is current for that specific topics from day to day.
You can also pull up an old trick may bloggers and writers use. Free writing is the process of you just writing and typing for the sake of doing so. As you write you mind actually opens up and wierd thought will come to the surface and with those thoughts hints to different topics can be hidden or even fully exposed to the world.
Use your material as inspiration
Many times while writing I have come to the next topic of discussion by working on another blog post or my shownotes. When writing you will start writng something and realise that it is a bigger topic than you were thinking and instead of spending 30 minutes on this topic you might just use that topic for next week and flesh it out even more
If all else fails go for a walk. Get your blood flowing with more oxygen in your blood it is bound to go to your brain and with the increase of oxygenated blood the ideas will increase.
Podcast.place – If you are going to be a consultant please show people that you know what you are talking about.
Some people find shopping for a podcasters a little difficult. Do they need a new mic or mixer. What type do I get? Would they use a new set of cables, or what is a pop filter? The following list is a collection of different equipment needs going from inexpensive, it is the thought that counts; to high dollar, I really love ya, gifts. The podcaster in your life can and will use any of the following you purchase for him.
- Audio-Technica ATR2100 – $39.99 Great beginner podcasters microphone it has a USB interface for those who do not have a mixer to connect and a XLR connector for those who have a sound system. So this is easily the most versatile mic out of the lineup. It Many podcasters use both the USB and the XLR to record while using it with a Skype call. This inexpensive mic also has great sound rejection or not as much background noise is noticeable when being used.
- Dynamic microphone with USB and XLR analog output
- USB to your computer for digital recording, and the XLR connects with your sound system conventional microphone input
- Smooth, extended frequency response ideally suited for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, voiceover, and on-stage use
- Built-in headphone jack allows you to directly monitor your microphone output without audible delay
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear
- Built-In Headphone Jack With Volume Control
- Electro Voice RE320 Dynamic Microphone – $276.99 Bring this great professional studio quality dynamic microphone home to really add the desired warmth and depth to your podcasters recording.
- Designed for Broadcast booths, Concert venues, or podcast studio
- Variable-D pattern control
- proximity control minimizes positional and off-axis tonal shifts
- Integrated hum-bucking coil and built in pop filter helps get the best sound you can
- Neodymium magnet creates faster transient response and allows for a cleaner fuller sound
- Unique Dual Personality switch creates two mics in one Extremely durable build, fit and finish
- Heil Sound PR40 – $310.00 The Cadillac of the podcasters microphones. This is a great durable warm sounding microphone. This gem of a microphone helps bring the polishing touch to your sound.
- Copper-wound dynamic with neodymium magnet structure
- Body: Steel body with zinc die-cast bottom ring
- Frequency response: 28Hz to 18kHz
- Impedance: 600 ohms balanced
- Output level: -53.9dB @ 1,000 Hz
- Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone – $229.00 If you are needing a USB alternative to record with this microphone will help bring your sound to that desired level
- Broadcast sound quality
- 28mm dynamic capsule
- 18-Bit Resolution, 8 – 48 kHz sampling
- Windows and Mac compatible
- Tight Cardioid pattern for superior off axis sound rejection
- DS7200B Adjustable Desk Microphone Stand – $12.95 This little desktop mic stand can do the job of holding your mic so that you will not have to worry about the handling sound.
- Pyle-Pro PMKS3 Tripod Microphone Stand W/ Extending Boom – $27.94 To keep the sound of your desktop at bay then you might want to have a mic stand that is free standing and away from the desk
- Heil Sound PL-2T Overhead Broadcast Boom – $120.00 Balanced to handle the Heil Pr40 This boom arm mic stand is designed to keep noise to a minimum
- Okeba shock mount and Pop filter $11.99 Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting found this little gem. which will fit most stick style of mics
- Heil Sound PRSM Black Shockmount for Heil PR30 and PR40 Mics $105.00 This special shock mount will kill any sound that may still be traveling through your arm to keep it from entering your recording.
- Peavey PV 10 10-channel Compact Mixer $229.99 Great little mixer with XLR inputs along with 1/4″ TRS connections the slider controls help with the percission of getting the sound just right.
- Built-in DSP effects processor
- 6 RQ (reference-quality) low noise microphone inputs with insert points
- Channels 7/8 and 9/10 w/ dual switchable stereo line inputs
- 3-band EQ on all channels
- LED clip, signal, mute indication
- Mackie 1402VLZ4, 14-channel Compact Mixer$399.99 Recommended by many podcasting enthusiasts
- 14-channel mixer featuring Mackie signature high-headroom/low-noise design
- 6 Onyx mic preamps
- RF rejection perfect for broadcasting
- Phantom power for Condenser Mics
- 14 line inputs with +4/-10 operation control
- Allen & Heath ZED-14 14-Channel Mixer $399.00 Perfect mixer for the beginning Podcaster that is looking to add a mixer to their audio chain. Contains a USB for the chance to send the recording to a computer if you choose.
- 14 inputs total, with 6 DuoPre mic inputs
- 4 auxiliary sends, 2 stereo returns
- 3-Band EQ with sweepable mids
- 12-100MM faders for a professional feel
- Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphone $89.95 Probably one of the clearest sounding headphones allows for you to hear the minute background noises.
- Audio-Technical ATH-M40FS $52.99 Low cost alternative to clearly hear the sound you have recorded, with these around ear cans.
- Roland R-05 Studio WAVE/MP3 Recorder $188.00 – You will want to have the Roland Recorder Power Adapter$43.65 This is a must have if you have a podcaster in your life and they are recording into a computer. Hep them out and get them this little personal digital recorder. The Built in condenser mics are incredible to record with but if you like you can also record in the mic input and ass an extra line input.
- Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder $215.00 Quite possibly the most versitile personal digital recorder you could use. With a wide pattern of recording you can use the built in mics or you can use any mic you like because the H4N has 2 XLR input jacks that provide phantom power.
Who doesn’t need adapters? We all need adapters. All are needed in one form fashion or another, Buy one of each or ones you have heard your podcaster talk about
GLS Audio Mic Windscreens – $9.99 These are your typical foam ball mic cover it helps with the plosives and mild wind noise.
Rode Dead Kitten Windscreen – $24.99 Designed for the Rode SVM but will fit any mic that is shaped like it. but dont worry no cats were harmed in the making of these windscreens
Studio Microphone Mic Wind Screen Pop Filter/ Swivel Mount / Mask Shied For Speaking Recording – $7.59 to keep the noise of plosive and simblances at bay your podcaster needs to use a popfilter this will clamp on to just about any stand
Auphonix Pop Filter for Best Recording – $16.99 a double meshed pop filter for added filtering.
Like the adapters a podcaster can always use cables. normally they will just need either XLR male to XLR Female or XLR female to 1/4 Male TRS
6 Foot XLR Male / Female Microphone cable – $8.09 XLR male to Female
DBX 286s Microphone Pre-amp Processor – $187.89 many times you need just a little extra power and clean gain.
Fethead inline mic preamp – €69.95 great inline preamp, that does a incredible job of increasing the gain of a mic without the noise.
Macally Audio and Video Cable for iPod classic 4G, 5G, 5.5G (White) – $9.95 This cable is great for tying an audio device to a mixer.
PNY High Performance 32GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Card (P-SDH32G10H-GE) -$21.99 if you have a personal digital recorder then you want to have an SD card
Tip of the Week
Adapters, thes little things are a life saver!