WordPress plugin recommendations


I often get asked for recommendations of WordPress plugins. Here are my top 7.

1. All in One SEO by All in One

All in One SEO  is so underrated. I have used this wordpress plugin for 5 years now. I love how this plugin specifically tells you what is missing from articles, pages and even woocommerce products to improve your SEO ranking. Even better you can do a competitor analysis against your competitors.

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2. WP Activity Log by WP White Security

If you have numerous people on your WordPress website you need WP Activity log. This plugin gives you the availability to see what other users are doing on your website whether its front end or backend. There’s also a Woocommerce option as well!

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3. Site Kit by Google

This is your all and one go to for Google. For this WordPress plugin, Google Site Kit allows you to see what your page speed insights are, hooks you into your google analytics. It’s literally a one stop shop..

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4. Theme Customisations by WooThemes

Probably should be higher on my list.. Oops, if you ever want to make changes to your .php or css or cs. This WordPress plugin has saved me numerous times, instead of potentially wrecking your theme or plugins. You can use this fancy wee plugin. You must know coding though.

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5. Disable/Remove Google Fonts by Fonts Plugin

Often we find Google fonts using a truck load of CPU on WordPress. Remove the issues by using this plugin as it will save your day.

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6. Mailchimp for Woocommerce by Mailchimp

I love WordPress but I also love Mailchimp as an email marketing platform. This plugin allows you to sync your customers with their permission into your email marketing database if you use mailchimp.

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7. WooCommerce Event Manager by MagePeople Team

If you manage events and want to manage your event ticketing. This is the way to go, it’s like having eventfinda on your website. To see the set up live check out this link here. I’ve never seen such a well laid out event plugin before and this beats eventfinda! 

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Digital Boost has hit Hawke’s Bay

Super excited to have been appointed as one of the Hawke’s Bay DigitalBoostNZ Ambassadors as part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment‘s groundbreaking program Digital Boost. I will be helping with Hastings and Waipukurau and the super talented Matthew Miller of Mogul will be facilitating Napier.

I’m 100% certain you’ll benefit whether you’re a business owner or marketing manager in varying skill sets.

Plus there is also online resources available for you NOW for FREE!

Waipukurau with Elizabeth-Marie 1st June at 1pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digital-boost-workshop-with-digital-ambassador-elizabeth-marie-nes-tickets-154758445677

Hastings with Elizabeth-Marie 1st June at 5:15pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digital-boost-workshop-with-digital-ambassador-elizabeth-marie-nes-tickets-154758664331

Napier with Matthew Miller 31st May at 8am: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digital-boost-workshop-with-digital-ambassador-matthew-miller-tickets-154338182659


Instagram has introduced safety features for young ones

Instagram is introducing new policies limiting interactions between teenagers and adults to make its platform safer for young users. The app has banned adults from direct messaging teenagers who don’t follow them and is introducing “safety prompts” that will be shown to teens when they DM adults who have been “exhibiting potentially suspicious behavior.”

Safety prompts will give teenage users the option to report or block adults who are messaging them. The prompts will remind young users not to feel pressured to respond to messages and to “be careful sharing photos, videos, or information with someone you don’t know.”

Notices will appear when Instagram’s moderation systems spot suspicious behaviour from adult users. The company is not sharing detail on how these systems operate but says such suspicious behaviour could include sending “a large amount of friend or message requests to people under 18.” The Facebook-owned Instagram says this feature will be available in some countries this month (it did not specify which) and available globally “soon.”

Instagram also says it’s developing new “artificial intelligence and machine learning technology” to try and detect someone’s age when they sign up for an account. Officially, the app requires that users are aged 13 and above, but it’s easy to lie about one’s age. The company said it wants to do “more to stop this from happening” but did not go into any detail about how new machine learning systems might help with this problem.

New teenage users who sign up to Instagram will also now be encouraged to make their profile private. If they choose to create a public account anyway, Instagram will send them a notification later “highlighting the benefits of a private account and reminding them to check their settings.”

Instagram Plans to Launch Multi-Participant Live-Streams Later This Month

While audio live-streaming is having its moment, Instagram is still catching up on the last big live-streaming trend, with Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri revealing that that company is planning to launch multi-participant IG Live video chats within the next few weeks.

Mosseri made the announcement during an interview with Lilly Singh on her talk show ‘A Little Late‘.

As explained by Mosseri:

“We have been working on live groups – finally. […] We’re releasing the ability to go live with more than one other person, so with up to four other people, in the next couple of weeks, which we’re really excited about.”

Mosseri says ‘four other people’ here, but I suspect that was a slip of the tongue, as the available examples only show four people total, meaning three other people in a stream. 

Mosseri also tells Singh that this is an exclusive announcement on her show – but it’s not exactly new.

Instagram actually began testing this functionality in India back in December – with interest in live-streaming on the rise in the Indian market, and Instagram looking to capitalize on the ban on TikTok in the region, it launched a new trial of multi-participant live-streams to boost user interest.

According to mysmartprice, Instagram Live views grew by over 60% in India throughout 2020, and the addition of multi-person streams provides another means to maximize that interest.

More than that, Instagram’s actually been working on the option for almost a year, with Mosseri noting in a Q and A session last March that they were looking to enable more guests in Live broadcasts:

“Right now you can only go live with one other person at a time, we’re looking into if we could expand that, but it’s not clear that that is the most pressing thing that we can add to Live, versus just getting stability up, adding more features, making it available on web, etcetera.”

So it’s actually been a long time coming, and has been in development since before the pandemic. Live-streaming, in general, saw a big rise in 2020, as people sought ways to stay connected amid the various lockdowns and mitigation measures, so no doubt Instagram would have liked to have got the feature out even sooner. But now, it looks set to be launched very soon, providing another means to broadcast, and connect with your Instagram audience.

That could open up a range of possibilities and options. You could conduct interviews, invite fans and customers onto streams, share the stage with influencers, etc. Going live with another person can also feel less intimidating – and as shown by the rise in audio live-stream platforms, people are clearly interested in more authentic, in-the-moment connection at this time.

There’s no definitive date outlined for the launch as yet, but expect an official announcement from IG some time soon.

Less political content coming to your feed soon

Mark Zuckerburg has recently announced that Facebook users will be seeing less of discouraging ‘ divisive conversations’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday announced that the company will no longer recommend civic and political groups to its users.

The change comes in the wake of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

“This is a continuation of work we’ve been doing for a while to turn down the temperature and discourage divisive conversations,” Zuckerberg said in a call with analysts following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings.

This comes after the company temporarily decided to stop recommending these groups to U.S. users in October in the lead up to the 2020 U.S. elections. 

Additionally, Zuckerberg said that the company is now considering steps to reduce the amount of political content that users see in their News Feed.

“One of the top pieces of feedback that we’re hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services,” Zuckerberg said.

Changes coming to Facebook

 Facebook just announced the New Pages Experience today. And, it’s time to say bye-bye to LIKES!! 

There has long been confusion around having both LIKES and FOLLOWS on our business Pages. So, thankfully, Facebook is finally making it more clear.

As you may know, a person could like your Page, BUT choose to unfollow it.  Which means that person would not see your content at all in their feed. A follower is much more likely to see your content in their feed.

Follower count has long been a better ‘signal,’ as Facebook calls it, of the total number of people who would like to see your Page’s posts in their feed. (Alas, organic reach is so low these days that only a small percent of followers actually see Page posts, anyway).

Switching to the New Pages Experience is optional (for now), and is only available to some pages, so far.

Find out more here:https://www.facebook.com/business/help/NewPageExperience/

As and when you do choose to make the switch, here are a couple of important clarifications.

 WHAT HAPPENS TO PAGE LIKES WHEN YOU SWITCH TO THE NEW PAGES EXPERIENCE? If someone likes and follows your classic Page, they will continue to be a follower for the new Page and added to your total follower count. If someone likes your classic Page, but does not follow it, they will not transfer to your new Page as a follower. If someone follows your classic Page, but does not choose to like it, they will still transfer to your new Page as a follower. Page likes will not be supported on your new Page, and Page like count will no longer be accessible. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU SWITCH BACK TO CLASSIC PAGE? If you switch back to a classic Page from a new Page, your followers will remain the same. If you switch back to a classic Page from a new Page, you will still have all the likes from your classic Page, unless they unfollowed your new Page.

 Anyone that followed your new Page will be added to follows for your classic Page.

~~~Other features in the New Pages Experience include:✔︎ A redesigned layout that’s simpler and more intuitive (according to Facebook, haha!)✔︎ A dedicated News Feed (which is already there on Classic Pages, but this new feed is “to discover and join conversations, follow trends, interact with peers and engage with fans” … and, what’s the guesses we’ll start seeing ADS in this new News Feed sooner or later? Facebook has to keep creating new ad placements, eh!)✔︎ Easy navigation between personal profile and Pages✔︎ Updated admin controls for full control or partial access

See Facebook’s announcement post with full list of new features here:https://about.fb.com/…/introducing-the-new-page…/

I would recommend making the switch when you do get access.

[UPDATE: When you do get access to change to the New Pages Experience, consider making one or more posts first to announce to your audience that you’ll be making the switch and encourage them to FOLLOW your Page if they haven’t already. Of course, mostly people who are already following your Page would see your post. But, it’s worth putting out the update. You might even consider a Sponsored Messages campaign to contact your Page Likes and just check in to ensure they Follow your Page before making the switch.]
ALS, I can FOLLOW personal profiles as my Page now. Pretty sure this is new, and may be part of the new (Pages) News Feed. Enabling Follow on your personal profile is optional.

Onions too sexy for Facebook

There are regular onions, and then there are onions too sexy for Facebook, a Canadian seed and garden supply store recently discovered. 

The Seed Company by EW Gaze, in St John’s, Newfoundland, had wanted to post a seemingly innocent advert for Walla Walla onion seeds on Facebook. 

But to their surprise, it was rejected for being “overtly sexual”. 

In a statement on Wednesday, the social media company apologised for the error made by its automated technology. 

The ad flagged by Facebook showed Walla Walla onions, known for their size and sweet flavour, piled in a wicker basket with some sliced onion on the side. 

It took store manager Jackson McLean a moment to realise what the issue was with the posting, he said. 

Then he figured out that “something about the round shapes” could be suggestive of breasts or buttocks.

He knew his customers would find the ad rejection funny, and posted the photo, along with the automated Facebook message warning “listings may not position products or services in a sexually suggestive manner”, to the company page.

“listings may not position products or services in a sexually suggestive manner”, to the company page.mistakes…you’re Doing Something. “

Mr McLean said some clients have been posting images of potentially suggestive carrots and pumpkins in reply. 

He also appealed the decision to Facebook. 

“We use automated technology to keep nudity off our apps, but sometimes it doesn’t know a Walla Walla onion from a, well, you know,” Facebook Canada’s head of communications, Meg Sinclair, told BBC. 

“We restored the ad and are sorry for the business’s trouble.” 

The company is in the process of digitising its whole inventory to make shopping online more accessible amid the coronavirus pandemic, Mr McLean said, and that included boosting some advertisements, like the onion one, on Facebook. 

The Walla Walla onions, “an older onion variety”, had recently brought back in stock by customer request, and are now selling fast due to their newfound notoriety, he said. 

“We’ve sold more in the last three days than in the last five years,” said Mr McLean, adding they are also now listed under “sexy onions” on the company website.

Sexy Onions