Content Management Tools

Learn about many useful and time-saving tools and resources that will help you manage your content effectively.

Content Management Tools

Learn about many useful and time-saving tools and resources that will help you manage your content effectively. 

Here are some great tools and resources that will help you manage your content effectively and save you time (click on the links below to explore these further):

Content Management System (CMS)

Content Management System (CMS)

Learn how a content management system (CMS) can help you manage your content more effectively.
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WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins

Learn about many powerful and time-saving plugins you can use to manage content more effectively on your WordPress site.
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File Transfer Tools

File Transfer Tools

Learn about tools you can use to send files to other users and transfer files between devices, your web server, and cloud storage services.
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Content Research Tools

Content Research Tools

Useful content research tools, sites, and resources to help you save time in areas like content planning and content production.
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Content Production Tools

Content Production Tools

Useful tools and resources to help you speed up your content planning and content production.
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Content Editing Tools

Content Editing Tools

Useful time-saving content editing tools and resources to keep the quality of all edited content consistent and error-free.
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Media Creation Tools

Media Creation Tools

Use these media creation tools and resources to create different types of media for your content.
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Media Editing Tools

Media Editing Tools

Use these tools to convert your media files into different formats and file types, resize your files, and more! 
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Search Optimization Tools

Search Optimization Tools

Optimize your content for SEO and improve your content marketing results with these search optimization tools and resources.
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Content Promotion Tools

Content Promotion Tools

Use these content promotion tools and resources to help your content reach a wider target audience.
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Link Tracking Management Tool

Link Tracking Management Tool

Trackerly is a powerful link redirection and tracking tool that lets you manage thousands of links on multiple domains from a single location.
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Document Management Systems

Document Management Systems

A Document Management System can improve your organization's productivity and efficiency.
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Content Management System (CMS)

Learn how a content management system (CMS) can help you manage your content more effectively.

Content Management System (CMS)

Learn how a content management system (CMS) can help you manage your content more effectively.

WordPress add new post screenA Content Management System (CMS) is a software application that allows users to easily create, manage, and publish digital content, typically for websites.

It provides an interface for users to add and edit text, images, videos, and other types of digital media, and to manage the organization and presentation of that content.

A CMS typically includes a database to store the content and a set of tools for managing users, permissions, and workflow.

Note: While there are many different content management systems available, in this course we focus on using WordPress, a popular and free CMS platform that allows businesses to easily manage their content and most aspects of their website without requiring technical skills or relying on technical experts.

In this lesson, you will learn why a CMS is a powerful content management tool, discover the benefits of using a content management system, explore different CMS platforms, and discover what you can do using the WordPress CMS platform.

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Why Use A Content Management System (CMS)?

A Content Management System (CMS) is a software application that allows your business to easily manage and publish website content without the need for technical skills.

Some of the key benefits and features of using a CMS to manage your website content include:

  • Ease of use: A CMS typically has a user-friendly interface that allows non-technical users to easily create, edit, and publish content on the website.
  • Centralized control: A CMS allows multiple users to access and manage your website’s content, which is particularly useful if your business has multiple departments or team members responsible for different aspects of the website.
  • Versatility: A CMS can be used to manage different types of content, such as text, images, videos, and audio files.
  • Collaboration: A CMS allows multiple users to work on the same website content, making it easy for teams to collaborate and review changes before they are published.
  • Scalability: As your business grows, a CMS can easily be scaled to accommodate more content, users, and features. A CMS can also be used to manage small websites or large, complex sites with thousands of pages.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Many content management systems include built-in SEO features, such as the ability to create custom URLs and meta tags, which can help improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.
  • Security: A CMS can provide security features such as user access controls and backups, which can help prevent unauthorized access to your website and protect against data loss.

Popular CMS Platforms

There are many popular content management systems to choose from, each with its own set of features and capabilities.

Platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are open-source and have a wide range of functionalities, templates, and plugins that can be used to customize your website to suit the needs of your business.

Here is an overview of some of the most popular content management systems available and the pros and cons of each:

WordPress

WordPress - home page
WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS platform.

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, used by over 40% of websites.

It is an open-source platform that is easy to use and has a large community of developers and users.

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows users to easily create and manage websites. It is an open-source platform, meaning that it is free to use and can be modified by developers to meet specific needs. WordPress is written in PHP and uses a MySQL or MariaDB database to store data.

Some key features of WordPress include:

  • User management: WordPress allows multiple users to access and edit a website, each with their own set of permissions and roles.
  • Themes and plugins: WordPress has a large library of themes and plugins that can be used to customize the look and functionality of a website.
  • Multilingual support: WordPress allows for the creation of multilingual sites, making it easy to create content in multiple languages.
  • SEO friendly: WordPress has built-in SEO features, such as the ability to create custom URLs and meta tags, which can help improve a website’s visibility in search engines.
  • Customizable: WordPress is highly customizable, allowing developers to create custom templates, widgets, and plugins to extend the functionality of the website.

Benefits of using WordPress include:

  • Low cost: WordPress is an open-source platform, meaning that it is free to use and can be modified by developers to meet specific needs.
  • Flexibility: WordPress has a large library of themes and plugins that can be used to customize the look and functionality of a website.
  • Large community: WordPress has a large and active community of developers and users, which can provide support and resources.
  • Easy to use: WordPress has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for non-technical users to create and manage a website.
  • High scalability: WordPress can handle large amounts of traffic and data, making it suitable for large websites and high-traffic sites.

Cons of WordPress include:

  • Security issues: WordPress can be prone to security issues if not properly maintained, so it’s important to keep the software up to date and to be aware of potential vulnerabilities.
  • Resources: WordPress may require additional resources to handle high traffic.

See below for more details about using WordPress as a CMS.

More info: WordPress

Drupal

Drupal
Drupal

Drupal is another open-source CMS that is popular among developers and large organizations. It is known for its robustness, scalability, and flexibility.

Drupal is a content management system (CMS) that allows users to easily create and manage websites. It is an open-source platform, meaning that it is free to use and can be modified by developers to meet specific needs. Drupal is written in PHP and uses a MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite database to store data.

Some key features of Drupal include:

  • User management: Drupal allows multiple users to access and edit a website, each with their own set of permissions and roles.
  • Modules and themes: Drupal has a large library of modules and themes that can be used to customize the look and functionality of a website.
  • Multilingual support: Drupal allows for the creation of multilingual sites, making it easy to create content in multiple languages.
  • SEO friendly: Drupal has built-in SEO features, such as the ability to create custom URLs and meta tags, which can help improve a website’s visibility in search engines.
  • Flexible Content modeling: Drupal allows you to create custom content types and fields, which can be used to model any kind of content, making it suitable for a wide range of use cases.

Benefits of using Drupal include:

  • Low cost: Drupal is an open-source platform, meaning that it is free to use and can be modified by developers to meet specific needs.
  • Flexibility: Drupal has a large library of modules and themes that can be used to customize the look and functionality of a website.
  • Large community: Drupal has a large and active community of developers and users, which can provide support and resources.
  • High scalability: Drupal can handle large amounts of traffic and data, making it suitable for large websites and high-traffic sites.
  • Security: Drupal has a great track record in terms of security and it’s a platform that is frequently audited for vulnerabilities.

Cons of Drupal include:

  • Steep learning curve: Drupal can have a steep learning curve for new users, as it requires a good understanding of web development concepts and the underlying technologies.
  • Limited commercial support: Drupal is an open-source platform, so commercial support may be limited compared to proprietary solutions.
  • Limited customization options: While Drupal allows for some level of customization, it may not be enough for businesses with highly specific requirements.
  • Higher maintenance costs: Drupal requires more maintenance and technical support than other CMS, as it is built on top of a complex architecture.
  • It’s not as user-friendly as other CMS: Drupal’s interface can be a bit more complex than other CMS like WordPress or Joomla, which can make it harder for non-technical users to navigate.

More info: Drupal

Joomla

Joomla
Joomla

Joomla is another open-source CMS that is popular among small and medium-sized businesses. It is similar to WordPress in terms of ease of use and has a large library of extensions and templates.

Joomla is a content management system (CMS) that allows users to easily create and manage websites. It is an open-source platform, meaning that it is free to use and can be modified by developers to meet specific needs. Joomla is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database to store data.

Some key features of Joomla include:

  • User management: Joomla allows multiple users to access and edit a website, each with their own set of permissions and roles.
  • Templates and extensions: Joomla has a large library of templates and extensions that can be used to customize the look and functionality of a website.
  • Multilingual support: Joomla allows for the creation of multilingual sites, making it easy to create content in multiple languages.
  • SEO friendly: Joomla has built-in SEO features, such as the ability to create custom URLs and meta tags, which can help improve a website’s visibility in search engines.

Benefits of using Joomla include:

  • Low cost: Joomla is an open-source platform, meaning that it is free to use and can be modified by developers to meet specific needs.
  • Flexibility: Joomla has a large library of templates and extensions that can be used to customize the look and functionality of a website.
  • Large community: Joomla has a large and active community of developers and users, which can provide support and resources.
  • Easy to use: Joomla has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for non-technical users to create and manage a website.

Cons of Joomla include:

  • Steep learning curve: Joomla can have a steep learning curve for new users, as it requires a good understanding of web development concepts and the underlying technologies.
  • Limited scalability: Joomla can have limited scalability, as it may not be able to handle large amounts of traffic or data.
  • Security issues: Joomla has been known to have security issues in the past, so it’s important to keep the software up to date and to be aware of potential vulnerabilities.
  • Limited customization options: While Joomla allows for some level of customization, it may not be enough for businesses with highly specific requirements.
  • Limited commercial support: Joomla is an open-source platform, so commercial support may be limited compared to proprietary solutions.

More info: Joomla

Shopify

Shopify
Shopify

Shopify is a popular e-commerce CMS designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It allows users to create and manage an online store, and it includes features such as inventory management, payment processing, and order tracking.

Shopify is a content management system (CMS) and e-commerce platform that allows businesses to create and manage an online store. It provides a wide range of tools and features to help businesses create an attractive, functional e-commerce website, and manage their inventory, orders, and customer data. Shopify is a hosted solution, which means that all data is stored on Shopify’s servers and it takes care of security, backups and software updates.

Some key features of Shopify include:

  • E-commerce focused: Shopify is an e-commerce platform, it offers built-in features such as inventory management, order processing, and customer management.
  • Mobile-responsive design: Shopify templates are mobile-responsive, which means that they will automatically adjust to fit the screen size of the device being used.
  • App store: Shopify has an app store that offers a wide range of third-party apps that can be used to add new features and functionality to a store.
  • Payment gateway integration: Shopify allows integration with multiple payment gateways, including popular options such as PayPal and Stripe.
  • SEO friendly: Shopify has built-in SEO features, such as the ability to create custom URLs and meta tags, which can help improve a website’s visibility in search engines.

Benefits of using Shopify include:

  • User-friendly: Shopify has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for non-technical users to create and manage an online store.
  • Cost-effective: Shopify is a cost-effective solution, as it requires a monthly subscription fee and no additional costs for hosting or maintenance.
  • Scalable: Shopify can handle a large amount of traffic, making it suitable for small and large businesses alike.
  • Good customer support: Shopify offers good customer support, which can help businesses with any issues or questions they may have.
  • Variety of themes and apps: Shopify offers a wide range of templates and apps that can be used to customize the look and functionality of an online store.

Cons of Shopify include:

  • Limited customization options: While Shopify allows for some level of customization, it may not be enough for businesses with highly specific requirements.
  • Limited control over data: As Shopify is a hosted solution, businesses do not have full control over their data, and they are limited to Shopify’s terms of service.
  • Transaction fees: Shopify charges a transaction fee on some plans, which can add up if a business has a high volume of sales.
  • Limited third-party integration: Shopify’s third-party integration options are limited compared to other platforms like WordPress or Adobe Commerce.
  • Dependence on Shopify: Businesses that use Shopify are dependent on the platform, so if Shopify goes down, their store goes down as well.

More info: Shopify

Adobe Commerce

Adobe Commerce
Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento)

Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) is a content management system (CMS) built on top of the Adobe Experience Platform and integrated with Adobe Experience Cloud. It allows businesses to create, manage, and deliver personalized digital commerce experiences across web and mobile channels.

Some key features of Adobe Commerce include:

  • Support for headless commerce, allowing businesses to use a microservices architecture to create highly customizable, decoupled front-end and back-end systems.
  • Integration with Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) for content management and Adobe Target for personalization and A/B testing.
  • Support for multiple languages and currencies, making it easy to create global e-commerce sites.
  • Built-in analytics and reporting, allowing businesses to track customer behavior and optimize their online store.
  • Support for a wide range of payment methods and integrations with popular third-party systems.

Benefits of using Adobe Commerce include:

  • Improved customer experience, through personalized and highly-targeted digital commerce experiences.
  • Increased flexibility and scalability, as businesses can easily add new features or integrations as needed.
  • Enhanced security and compliance, as Adobe Commerce is built on top of the Adobe Experience Platform, which is compliant with industry standards such as SOC2 and PCI DSS.
  • Improved data insights and analytics, allowing businesses to make better-informed decisions and optimize their online store.

Pros of Adobe Commerce include:

  • Integration with Adobe Experience Cloud: Adobe Commerce is built on top of the Adobe Experience Platform and integrated with other Adobe Experience Cloud solutions, such as Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) for content management and Adobe Target for personalization and A/B testing. This allows businesses to easily create personalized, highly-targeted digital commerce experiences.
  • Support for headless commerce: Adobe Commerce supports a headless commerce architecture, which allows businesses to use a microservices architecture to create highly customizable, decoupled front-end and back-end systems. This allows for greater flexibility and scalability.
  • Built-in analytics and reporting: Adobe Commerce includes built-in analytics and reporting, allowing businesses to track customer behavior and optimize their online store.
  • Support for multiple languages and currencies: Adobe Commerce supports multiple languages and currencies, making it easy to create global e-commerce sites.
  • Support for a wide range of payment methods and integrations: Adobe Commerce supports a wide range of payment methods and can be integrated with popular third-party systems.

Cons of Adobe Commerce include:

  • High cost: Adobe Commerce can be a costly solution, as it requires a subscription to the Adobe Experience Cloud in addition to the cost of implementation and customization.
  • Steep learning curve: Adobe Commerce can have a steep learning curve, as it requires a good understanding of the Adobe Experience Cloud platform and the underlying technologies.
  • Limited customization options: While Adobe Commerce allows for some level of customization, it may not be enough for businesses with highly specific requirements.
  • Higher maintenance cost: Adobe Commerce can require more maintenance and technical support than other e-commerce solutions, as it is built on top of the Adobe Experience Platform.
  • Limited scalability: Adobe Commerce can have limited scalability, as it is built on top of the Adobe Experience Platform which has its own scalability limits.

More info: Adobe Commerce

As you can see, there are many different types of content management systems available, each with its own set of features and capabilities. The right CMS for your business will depend on your specific needs and requirements.

A Very Brief History Of Websites

Pre-CMS / Static Websites

Before Content Management Systems came along, websites were traditionally built by gathering together a collection of separately linked static pages where every element of a page (e.g. navigation menus, page layout, content, etc.) was created using web code (e.g. HTML) and assembled by a web designer or website developer using a web editor application tool (e.g. Dreamweaver).

A composite image showing different aspects of a static website.
Websites used to be static collections of web pages that only coders could understand and use…until CMS-driven websites came along!

These separate pages were then uploaded to a web server and accessed online by typing in the page URL associated with the page file into a web browser.

Then, something called a Content Management System, or CMS came along.

A Content Management System is an application that lets you organize and store all your documents, images, videos, and any other type of digital content on a database, and quickly and easily add, retrieve, edit, delete and publish content on your website with no coding skills required.

A CMS also allows multiple editors and authors to access, manage and work collaboratively on a website’s content and publish it under different authors and in different areas of the website.

A CMS also takes care of a number of “behind the scenes” content management tasks such as:

  • Generating website navigation elements automatically (e.g. menus, links, etc.)
  • Storing content in an organized way, making it searchable, findable, and indexable.
  • Keeping track of registered users, including managing user permissions, logins, and security settings.
  • Allowing multiple users to collaborate, edit and publish content on the site.
  • And much more.
CMS functions
A content management system lets you manage every aspect of your content.

In short, a Content Management System gives businesses complete control over their content and its management and lets anyone easily perform content-related tasks, like:

  • Content creation, editing, and deletion
  • Content publishing / content delivery
  • Content organization (e.g. archiving)
  • Content formatting
  • Content revision
  • Content indexing, searching, and retrieval
  • Content export and import

Now that you understand a little more about the benefits of using a content management system, let’s talk about the CMS platform we recommend using to build and manage a website.

It’s called WordPress.

Laptop displaying WordPress home page on screen.
Download WordPress for free on WordPress.org

Why Use WordPress?

WordPress is the world’s leading CMS platform. WordPress is 100% FREE and is used to power millions of websites around the world (over 40% of all websites).

WordPress is the world's leading CMS
WordPress is the world’s leading content management system for websites. Source: https://trends.builtwith.com/cms 

WordPress logoWordPress is:

  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to manage
  • SEO friendly
  • Mobile friendly
  • Powerful
  • Flexible
  • Interactive
  • Secure
  • Cost-effective
  • Well supported

WordPress is much more than a CMS. It’s a complete website-building and web-publishing platform. You can build any type of website you like with WordPress and easily change anything and everything on the site anytime you want.

Using WordPress is easy and requires no technical expertise or coding skills.

There are many ways that WordPress puts your business in complete control of your digital presence.

For example, WordPress gives your business a “speed to market” advantage…

Slide - Speed To Market
Publish content quickly with WordPress – just think, write … and publish!

WordPress also lets you publish time-sensitive content quickly and make it available online immediately. This is great for getting information out fast, such as:

  • Limited-time offers, special offers, discounts, etc.
  • New product releases, new product reviews, promotional videos
  • Company announcements
  • Industry or company events
  • Pricing updates
  • Customer/Reseller training tips, etc.

After your WordPress site has been set up and configured, you can easily create rich content anytime you think of something you would like to inform, promote, or communicate to others.

Then, simply hit the “publish” button and the information will be made live immediately and instantly available to online users.

Management & Marketing Automation

Another reason WordPress puts your business in control of your digital presence is that your website can be expertly configured so that all you need to do is publish new content and WordPress will then automatically and instantly:

  • Notify search engines like Google, Bing, etc. (you can specify exactly how you want Google to display your listings in its search results),
  • Post excerpts of the content to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. with links pointing back to the website (you can specify exactly how excerpts should display on social media sites),
  • Notify and syndicate dozens and even hundreds of other online properties like blogs, search directories, social bookmarking sites, RSS feed aggregators, etc.

Instead of a ‘static’ web presence that involves time-consuming activities like publishing content on a website and posting new content on social media accounts and other online properties to drive traffic and generate leads, your WordPress site can be configured to instantly syndicate (i.e. distribute) and get your newly-published content indexed faster, automatically driving more web traffic and generating new leads for your business…

Chart - publishing content on WordPress instantly posts the content on social media.
Posting content to different sites can be very time-consuming! You can publish content on WordPress and instantly posts this content on social media.

WordPress lets you set up a content distribution and a lead and traffic generation system automatically…

Diagram: Publish content...automate the rest!
Automate content distribution with WordPress to drive more traffic, leads & sales!

WordPress can also automate management and maintenance tasks on a website like scheduling files and data backups, updating software, adding and managing new users, and more.

An expertly configured WordPress site lets you do all this by configuring internal (i.e. built-in) settings, adding different add-ons, and integrating many essential (and mostly free) external services…

Diagram of epertly-configured WordPress site components
An expertly-configured WordPress site can automate many digital processes in your business!

As your business grows and evolves, you can easily add more functionality and automation to your WordPress site at minimal cost, like:

  • Adding eCommerce to sell products and services and process payments online
  • Capturing leads with opt-in forms and automatically adding new subscribers to newsletters and autoresponders
  • Adding a membership site that allows visitors to register on the site as private members with different membership levels, unique logins, etc.
  • Adding directories, forums, social networking features, social sharing, and engagement features, etc.
  • And so much more!

All this can be done inexpensively (or even for free) in WordPress using ‘app-like’ add-ons called plugins.

Once plugins are installed and configured, you can direct your site visitors to different areas of your website such as your online store, subscription forms, membership area, directories, etc. using calls to action placed in your content, graphic banners, navigation menus, etc. and let the automated processes configured on your site and your plugins do the rest.

Additionally, WordPress comes with a powerful built-in Content Management System (CMS) that works right out of the box, allowing you to easily create and manage your digital content, website administration (including updating and backing up site files and data), and automate various aspects of your digital marketing.

One of the many benefits of using the WordPress CMS is that it is 100% free to use and modify for any commercial purpose. This helps to prevent you from becoming locked into a ‘proprietary’ CMS platform that could make it harder to leave or switch to another provider.

So…

You can configure your WordPress site to automate management and marketing processes like backups, content distribution, and syndication, search engine indexing, web traffic generation, lead, and sales automation, and more, without involving website developers or web designers or requiring technical expertise or coding skills.

You can also easily look after ongoing management processes like keeping your site’s software and plugins updated, adding and configuring new site functionality, making changes to site design, layout, and content to improve sales conversions, and training other team members to do the same without hiring website developers or web designers.

Building a website with WordPress, then, puts you in complete control of your digital business processes, saving you considerable money and allowing you to generate better online results.

WordPress
Want to be in complete control of your digital presence? Then choose WordPress!

A CMS platform like WordPress can put your business in complete control of your digital presence, automate key digital management, content scheduling, and marketing processes, and help you improve your online business online results.

A WordPress website can also be expanded easily and inexpensively at any time and allows businesses to integrate additional features, functionality, and services like:

  • Social media, social media content sharing, and social engagement tools
  • External services and accounts (e.g., Google webmasters, SaaS, and cloud services)
  • eCommerce, membership sites, directories, event bookings, and registrations, etc.
  • Support services (helpdesks, online chat, forums, affiliate management, etc.)
  • Subscriber options (newsletters, autoresponders, opt-in forms, etc.)
  • Reporting tools (e.g., server monitoring, web analytics, etc.)
  • And many additional functions.

Unique WordPress Features

WordPress includes many unique features that make managing websites easy, including:

Plugins

Like most apps and add-ons, plugins install with a few clicks and allow users to easily add and configure almost every kind of functionality imaginable to their website (e.g. forms, banner ad management, membership sites, directories, e-commerce, notifications, live chat, pricing tables, etc.).

Learn more about plugins here: Using WordPress Plugins

Themes

Themes are web design templates that let users change the entire look and feel of their site and/or customize the site’s web design with just a few clicks without affecting its content.

Learn more about plugins here: Using WordPress Themes

Widgets

Widgets let users reorganize and rearrange the site’s web layout and add new functionality without touching code using features like drag and drop and pulldown menus.

Learn more about plugins here: Using WordPress Widgets

And More…

Additional unique features of WordPress that make managing a website easier include a customizable dashboard, a visual content editor and block editor, custom navigation menus, custom post types, live previews, updates, setting different user roles, permissions, and logins, comment moderation, site cleanup, optimization, and security tools, and a whole lot more!

WordPress can also be configured to fully automate or reduce many complex website management tasks to processes using a few clicks.

This includes:

  • Managing and scheduling content for publishing
  • Performing data and file backups
  • Updating core software, plugins, and themes
  • Registering and managing users and subscribers
  • Moderating comments from visitors, preventing comment SPAM, etc.
  • Preventing brute force attacks and threats from malware and hackers
  • Fixing broken links in the content
  • Redirecting visitors to other pages
  • Generating user, statistical, performance, and sales reports
  • Notifying management and administrators if there are any problems with the site
  • And more.

Depending on what your business wants to achieve online, WordPress can also easily add and automate the management of features and functionality like:

  • Setting up an e-commerce store (and automating areas like featured product information, online payment processing, emailing customers download links, product delivery information, emails to prevent cart abandonment, etc.)
  • Providing customer service tools, services, and information sections like a knowledgebase, support helpdesks, live chat, FAQs, etc.
  • Setting up business directories and advertising zones (and automating processes that allow users to buy, manage, and renew their listings and advertisements)
  • Running event and booking sites (and automating the management of event bookings and registrations, setting up appointments, scheduling deliveries of online course content or webinars, ticket printing, confirmations, etc.)
  • Setting up an affiliate program (and automating affiliate management tasks, commission reports, payments, etc.)
  • Setting up and automating many other tasks like scheduling and posting content to social media, adding subscribers to newsletters and customer lists, processing contact information, engaging users with customer surveys and user polls, and so much more.

Most Websites Are Powered By WordPress

Not only are millions of websites around the world built using WordPress, but if one in every three websites is powered by WordPress, the chances are that if your business has a website, it is probably also powered by WordPress!

To check if your website or blog is built using WordPress, go here: How To Tell If Your Website Is Powered By WordPress

Summary

A content management system (CMS) is a software application that allows users to create, manage, and publish digital content.

A CMS is an essential tool for businesses that want to easily manage and publish content on their website. It allows non-technical users to easily create, edit, and publish content, while also providing tools for collaboration, scalability, SEO, and security.

It’s important to research different CMS options and choose one that fits the specific needs of your business.

Some of the most popular CMS platforms include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

Joomla is a popular open-source CMS, it is more complex than WordPress, but it is good for managing large and complex websites.

Drupal is also an open-source CMS, it is more powerful, and it is best used for creating complex, large-scale websites.

WordPress is the world’s most widely used content management system. It is free and open-source, and it has a wide variety of themes and plugins to choose from. It is also the platform used to power millions of professional websites and blogs around the world.

WordPress is:

  • 100% free open-source software
  • Highly flexible, scalable, and customizable (can be adapted for any use)
  • Supported by a community of tens of thousands of web developers (continually updated to improve security, add new features, and fix bugs & issues).

Resources

If you need help using WordPress, see the resources below:

WordPress User Tutorials

Here are the best resources for learning how to use your WordPress website and CMS effectively:

WPTrainingManual.com

WPTrainingManual.com - WordPress User Training
WPTrainingManual.com – WordPress User Training

WPTrainingManual.com provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date WordPress step-by-step tutorials for non-technical users and non-coders available.

These tutorials are 100% free to access (and download as a PDF, print, or share via email), and will help you learn how to use your WordPress site and CMS effectively.

WPTrainingManual.com - Free WordPress Tutorials
WPTrainingManual.com – Free WordPress Tutorials

Additionally, you can download The Complete WordPress Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual – a comprehensive, fully illustrated, and regularly updated 2,100+ page downloadable WordPress user manual for non-techies.

The Complete WordPress Step-By-Step User Manual
The Complete WordPress Step-By-Step User Manual

For more information and to access all the free WordPress tutorials, go here: WPTrainingManual.com

WPMasterclasses.com

WPMasterclasses.com - WordPress & Digital Business Skills Video Courses
WPMasterclasses.com – WordPress & Digital Business Skills Video Courses

WPMasterclasses.com is a WordPress and digital business video training site with dozens of video courses and 2,000+ video tutorials on using WordPress and covering essential digital business areas.

Here are some of the WordPress video courses available on WPMasterclasses.com (note: you can access all of the video courses below with a single all-access pass):

WordPress Video Courses
Why Your Business Needs WordPress - WPMasterclasses.comWhy Your Business Needs WordPress

Learn about the unique features, benefits, and advantages of using WordPress to start or grow your business online.

More info: Why Your Business Needs WordPress

WordPress 101: How To Use WordPress - WPMasterclasses.comWordPress 101: How To Use WordPress

Learn how to unlock the power of the WordPress content management system (CMS) using the many powerful features inside your WordPress administration area.

More info: WordPress 101: How To Use WordPress

WordPress Gutenberg - WPMasterclasses.comWordPress Gutenberg

Learn how to use the WordPress Gutenberg editor with this video course.

More info: WordPress Gutenberg

WordPress Traffic & User Engagement - WPMasterclasses.comWordPress Traffic & User Engagement

Learn how to drive more targeted traffic to your website and discover ways to improve user engagement with your business online.

More info: WordPress Traffic & User Engagement

WordPress SEOWordPress SEO - WPMasterclasses.com

Learn how to optimize your WordPress site and how to craft website pages and blog posts that will help you get better search engine rankings and improve your traffic results.

More info: WordPress SEO

WordPress Maintenance - WPMasterclasses.comWordPress Maintenance

This video course takes you step-by-step through the WordPress Maintenance Process and shows you how to keep your WordPress site updated, protected, and error-free!

More info: WordPress Maintenance

How To Backup & Restore WordPress Sites - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Back Up & Restore WordPress Sites

Learn how to safely and automatically back up your WordPress files and database and how to easily restore your WordPress site if something unexpected or disastrous were to happen.

More info: How To Back Up & Restore WordPress Sites

How To Optimize WordPress - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Optimize WordPress

Learn how to optimize your WordPress site and improve your page loading speed.

More info: How To Optimize WordPress

WordPress Security - WPMasterclasses.comWordPress Security

Learn how to keep your WordPress site or blog secure and protected from malware, hackers, and brute-force attacks.

More info: WordPress Security

WordPress Plugins - WPMasterclasses.comWordPress Plugins

Learn how WordPress plugins work, how to find, install, and update plugins on your site, and how to expand your WordPress site’s functionality in almost unlimited ways.

More info: WordPress Plugins

Digital Planning: How To Build A Profitable Website Or Blog - WPMasterclasses.comDigital Planning: How To Build A Profitable Website Or Blog

Learn how to plan and build a profitable website or blog using a proven and easy-to-follow strategy.

More info: Digital Planning: How To Build A Profitable Website Or Blog

Build A WordPress Site Fast - WPMasterclasses.comBuild A WordPress Site Fast

Need a new website or blog in a hurry? This video course shows you how to quickly install and configure a WordPress website or blog on your own domain name.

More info: Build A WordPress Site Fast

WordPress eCommerce - Learn How To Build An eCommerce Store With WordPressLearn How To Build An eCommerce Store With WordPress

Learn how to set up an e-commerce store on your WordPress site using e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.

More info: Learn How To Build An eCommerce Store With WordPress

How To Set Up A Forum On WordPress - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Set Up A Forum On WordPress

Learn how to set up a forum for your visitors, prospects, customers, members, or affiliates using WordPress.

More info: How To Set Up A Forum On WordPress

How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Build A Membership Site With WordPress

Learn how to plan, build, grow, and maintain a viable membership site using WordPress that can be easily scaled and automated to become a sustainable, cost-effective, and profitable asset for many years to come.

More info: How To Build A Membership Site With WordPress

All Access Pass: Unlimited Courses - WPMasterclasses.comYou can purchase access to individual courses for a one-time fee or purchase an ALL ACCESS PASS video training site membership for a low annual subscription.

The All Access Pass membership gives you 24/7 ongoing access to 60+ digital business skills and WordPress CMS video courses (over 2,100+ self-paced video lessons and 225+ hours of videos).

For more details of all available video courses, go here: WPMasterclasses.com

WordPress Site Management

The choice of managing and maintaining your WordPress site is completely up to you. You can outsource your site management to professionals or learn how to do it yourself.

Here are the best resources available if you choose to do it yourself:

WPCompendium.org

WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you everything you need to know to build and manage a WordPress site with no coding knowledge or technical skills required.

WPCompendium.org – Free WordPress Step-By-Step Tutorials For Non-Techies
WPCompendium.org – Free WordPress Step-By-Step Tutorials For Non-Techies

The tutorials on WPCompendium.org are fully interlinked for ease of navigation, allowing you to learn WordPress at your own pace, and organized into comprehensive training modules covering all areas of WordPress:

WPMU DEV

WPMU DEV
WPMU DEV – All-In-One WordPress Platform

WPMU DEV provides a complete WordPress site management and dedicated hosting platform with professional plugins covering everything from SEO, optimization, and security, to marketing, forms, analytics, and more, plus 24/7 expert support on all things related to WordPress.

While the site is aimed mostly at WordPress web developers, if you are an advanced WordPress user or DIY site manager, we recommend visiting the WPMU DEV Blog containing thousands of advanced and useful WordPress tutorials, and subscribing to their email newsletter for regular WordPress tips and information.

WPMU DEV Blog
WPMU DEV’s Blog is jampacked with useful WordPress tutorials.

Additional Resources

We recommend the following resources to help build your content management skills:

Also, visit our tools and resources section for additional courses, guides, and helpful tools and resources for managing your content effectively.

Digital Business – Module Lessons

Below are all the lessons included in this module. Click on a link to go directly to the lesson:

The Role Of The Digital/Web Content Manager

The Role Of The Content Manager

Learn about the role of a content manager and what you need to know to manage content effectively in a digital business presence.
View Lesson
Digital Business Structure

Digital Business Structure

Learn what an effective digital business structure looks like and why this makes managing content challenging.
View Lesson
Content Management Mindset

Content Management Mindset

Develop the mindset needed to manage content effectively for any type of organization. 
View Lesson
Content Management Skills

Content Management Skills

Learn about the skills you will need to develop to manage content effectively in your business. 
View Lesson
Digital Business Setups

Digital Business Setups

Learn about different kinds of digital business setups and the challenges of managing content effectively in these. 
View Lesson
Digital Business Basics

Digital Business Basics

This lesson looks at some of the basic steps your business should complete before it can grow using content.
View Lesson
Digital Content Team

Digital Content Team

An overview of different digital team roles, responsibilities, and job descriptions.
View Lesson
Content Management Tools

Content Management Tools

Learn about many useful and time-saving tools and resources that will help you manage your content effectively.
View Lesson

***

Images: WordPress logo, WordPress screen, Blackboard

WordPress User Manual

The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual provides detailed and comprehensive WordPress training tutorials for non-technical users.

The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual

Learn how to use WordPress to manage your web content effectively with the most detailed and comprehensive step-by-step WordPress user manual for non-technical website users available!

The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User ManualDoes your business or organization’s website run on WordPress?

Then it’s important that everyone in your team should be a competent and skilled WordPress user to manage all web content in your CMS effectively.

Every feature and function you need to know to use a WordPress website or blog is explained in step-by-step detail in The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual.

The tutorials are written for non-technical users and contain thousands of instructive screenshots, so you can easily follow and apply every step.

The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual is the most comprehensive, detailed, and up-to-date WordPress training resource available anywhere.

You can access all the online WordPress tutorials for free.

A paid membership to the site includes full access to the complete WordPress training site and additional resources like access to 2,100+ video tutorials, email courses, downloadable guides, templates, and checklists.

Download it here: The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual

***

Content Tools & Resources

Useful and cost-effective tools and resources to help make creating, promoting, and managing your content easier.

Content Tools & Resources

Useful and cost-effective tools and resources to help make creating, promoting, and managing your content easier.

Content Management Course - Tools & ResourcesOn this resources page, you will find a comprehensive collection of tools and resources for creating, promoting, and managing your content effectively.

Whether you are a marketer, blogger, content creator, business owner, seasoned content creator, or just starting out, these resources will help you streamline your content creation process, reach a wider audience, and take your content to the next level.

We have compiled below a comprehensive (and growing) list of useful, time-saving, cost-effective, and essential tools and resources that will help you be more productive in the areas of digital content planning, content production, content marketing, and content management.

Most of the tools and resources recommended below are free, and some are paid. Hopefully, you will find these to be invaluable, helpful, and worth knowing about.

How To Create An Effective Content Strategy For Your Business - Free Video Course

Free Video Course: How To Create An Effective Content Strategy For Your Business

Learn how to create an effective content strategy for your business with this free 12-part video course.
Read More
File Transfer Tools

File Transfer Tools

Learn about tools you can use to send files to other users and transfer files between devices, your web server, and cloud storage services.
Read More
Amazon S3

Using Amazon S3

Learn how to set up and use Amazon S3 to store, manage, and serve content on your website.
Read More
Content Research Tools

Content Research Tools

Useful content research tools, sites, and resources to help you save time in areas like content planning and content production.
Read More
Headline Generating Tools

Headline Generating Tools

Create compelling headlines for your articles quickly and easily with headline-generating tools.
Read More
Password Management Tools

Password Management Tools

Password management tools let you easily store your login passwords and generate secure passwords.
Read More
Customer Surveys

Customer Surveys

Use feedback from customer surveys to create a more targeted content strategy and improve your content creation.
Read More
Content Production Tools

Content Production Tools

Useful tools and resources to help you speed up your content planning and content production.
Read More
Content Editing Tools

Content Editing Tools

Useful time-saving content editing tools and resources to keep the quality of all edited content consistent and error-free.
Read More
Content Promotion Tools

Content Promotion Tools

Use these content promotion tools and resources to help your content reach a wider target audience.
Read More
Media Creation Tools

Media Creation Tools

Use these media creation tools and resources to create different types of media for your content.
Read More
Logo Makers

Logo Makers

Logo makers let you create a unique and professional-looking logo for your business with no design experience.
Read More
Media Editing Tools

Media Editing Tools

Use these tools to convert your media files into different formats and file types, resize your files, and more! 
Read More
Search Optimization Tools

Search Optimization Tools

Optimize your content for SEO and improve your content marketing results with these search optimization tools and resources.
Read More
Content Management System (CMS)

Content Management System (CMS)

Learn how a content management system (CMS) can help you manage your content more effectively.
Read More
WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins

Learn about many powerful and time-saving plugins you can use to manage content more effectively on your WordPress site.
Read More
WordPress User Manual

WordPress User Manual

The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual provides detailed and comprehensive WordPress training tutorials for non-technical users.
Read More
Free Content Ideas Course

Free Content Ideas Course

Learn how to never run out of great content ideas for your blog, website, or email newsletters.
Read More
Digital Business Video Courses

Digital Business Video Courses

Develop the skills you need to manage content effectively with these digital business video courses.
Read More
Content Troubleshooting Guide

Content Troubleshooting Guide

Use this content troubleshooting guide to help you identify and fix content-related issues in your business.
Read More
The Small Business Digital Manager

The Small Business Digital Manager

Learn how to take control of your business online to drive more traffic, leads, subscribers & sales to your website!
Read More
Learn Basic HTML

Learn Basic HTML

Learn how to edit web page content and website templates with these learn basic HTML resources!
Read More
Social Media Tools & Resources

Social Media Tools

Manage your content more effectively on your social media platforms with these social media tools and resources.
Read More
Free Membership Sites

Free Marketing Membership Sites

These membership sites are free to join and contain valuable resources and information on internet marketing and digital entrepreneurship.
Read More
Outsourcing

Outsourcing Resources

Here are useful resources to help you find people with the right talent and skills for outsourcing your content needs.
Read More
Link Tracking Management Tool

Link Tracking Management Tool

Trackerly is a powerful link redirection and tracking tool that lets you manage thousands of links on multiple domains from a single location.
Read More
Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts

Save time using these ALT key keyboard code shortcuts to add international accents and symbols to your content.
Read More
Content Management Glossary

Content Management Glossary

Useful terms and definitions related to the creation, management, and distribution of digital content.
Read More
Retired Resources

Retired Resources

A list of resources referred to in the course content that are either temporarily or permanently unavailable.
Read More

***

Image: Touchscreen

File Transfer Tools

Learn about tools you can use to send files to other users and transfer files between devices, your web server, and cloud storage services.

File Transfer Tools

Learn about tools you can use to send files to other users and transfer files between devices, your web server, and cloud storage services.

File Transfer ToolsSending and receiving files to and from other users, transferring files between different devices, and uploading or downloading files or media from various computer devices to your website, server, or remote storage services are all essential aspects of managing your content effectively.

In other lessons, we’ve looked at setting up effective content storage systems and documenting these processes to manage your organization’s files, media, and content.

If you need help in those areas, refer to the following lessons:

In this lesson, we look at various file transfer tools and methods you can use to get your content and files quickly and easily to other users, devices, web servers, and cloud storage services.

We’ll cover:

  • Essential File Transfer Tools
  • Transferring Files To Your Server Or Remote Storage
  • Uploading Files To Your Website From Different Locations
  • Using CMS Features To Upload Files To Your Website

***

Essential File Transfer Tools

Being able to transfer files quickly and easily to other users is essential for areas like content production, so it’s important to organize your content management systems around tools like:

  • Email (e.g. Gmail, Outlook, etc.)
  • Mobile Devices
  • Team Communication Tools (e.g. Zoom, Slack, etc.)

Email

You already know that you can send files via email as an attachment.

File Transfer Tools - Gmail
You can send files via email as an attachment…

But…did you know that with certain applications like Gmail, you can also send your files via email securely?

File Transfer Tools: Gmail - Confidential mode
Gmail also lets you send files over email securely using Confidential mode.

For example, Gmail offers a confidential mode that prevents your email recipients from forwarding, copying, printing, or downloading either the message or its attachments. This helps you protect sensitive information from being shared accidentally or without your consent.

Watch the video below for more information about this feature:

Source: Right Inbox

With Gmail, you can also insert a file from Google Drive as an attachment (we cover Google Drive further down)…

File Transfer Tools: Insert files using Google Drive
Use Gmail and Google Drive to upload, store, and send files online to other users.

Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are another great tool for sending media files like images, videos, audio recordings, notes, etc.

See the ‘References’ section at the end of this lesson for links to excellent articles covering different methods you can use to transfer files using your mobile devices.

Team Collaboration Tools

Applications like Slack, Zoom, and many other tools have built-in features for sharing files, so your team can use these to quickly send files to different team members and across to other users and departments.

For example, Slack lets you upload files like documents, videos, artwork, etc. from your computer and shared drives and share these with your team.

Slack - upload from your computer
Use Slack’s built-in features to upload and share files with your team.

Zoom also lets you upload and share file attachments, as the video below shows.

For additional collaboration tools, see this section: Content Production Tools

Transferring Files Between Your Computer And Your Web Server

Managing content effectively often requires uploading (and downloading) files between your computer or other devices and your web server.

Two popular methods used for transferring files between computers and web servers are:

  1. Using a Desktop FTP client
  2. Using a webhosting control panel application (e.g. cPanel’s File Manager.)

We’ll look at using these methods below, as they don’t require you to have advanced technical skills like other file transfer methods (e.g. SSH).

Follow the tutorials and the links provided below to learn how to use an FTP tool and File Manager to transfer files from your computer to your web server.

Always back up your website (files and data) before modifying any files on your server.

Desktop FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

This section explains how to set up a desktop-based FTP application to transfer files directly from your computer or laptop.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is an outdated way of sharing files and most web browsers no longer support it, as it is no longer considered to be secure.

Firefox FTP Browser
Browser FTP was once popular but most web browsers no longer support it.

Using SFTP or FTPS (and HTTPS) instead of FTP is highly recommended.

The most reliable alternative to browser FTP is a dedicated FTP/SFTP client installed on your computer, like Filezilla

Setting Up A Desktop FTP Client – How To FTP/SFTP Files To Your Server Using Filezilla

Filezilla is a popular free desktop FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program. It is open-source software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

You can download Filezilla for free here: http://filezilla-project.org/

Make sure to download the client version of Filezilla, not the server version.

Filezilla - Free FTP software
Filezilla is a free FTP software application.

FileZilla Client is also available in several editions, so choose the edition that best suits your needs.

File Tansfer Tools: Filezilla - Free FTP software options.
Select the Filezilla edition that best suits your needs.

For most users, the standard FileZilla edition is fine.

With FileZilla Pro edition, you can upload your files directly to cloud services like Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, and various other services.

Transferring files using a desktop FTP application like Filezilla is all done via the tool’s interface.

File Transfer Tools - Filezilla's interface
Filezilla interface

Filezilla’s interface looks complicated, but it’s really not. After connecting to your server, all you basically do is select files from a folder in your computer or hard drive (left panel) and drag these across to a folder on your server (right panel) and the tool will automatically begin to upload your files.

Similarly, you can download files by selecting and dragging these from a folder on your server (right panel) to a folder on your computer or hard drive (left panel).

tip

Filezilla provides a basic tutorial on its site. If you need more help using Filezilla, see this video course for beginners: How To Use FTP

When using FileZilla, we recommend selecting the SFTP- SSH File Transfer Protocol for transferring files from your computer to your server securely.

File Transfer Tools: FileZilla: Site Manager - SFTP - SSH File Transfer Protocol menu option.
Click on the General tab and select SFTP File Transfer Protocol.

For more information about SFTP, go here: SFTP vs FTPS – Secure File Transfer Protocols Explained

Transferring Files Using cPanel

cPanel is a popular web hosting control panel that offers an alternative to FTP for uploading files to your web server.

Here are some reasons why you may want to use cPanel to upload and download files to your server and local computer instead of using FTP:

  • Sometimes it can be faster to upload/download files using cPanel than using FTP.
  • cPanel makes it easy to upload zipped files and then extract all of the files to a directory inside your server.
  • cPanel makes it easy to zip and download compressed files to your computer.
  • If you experience difficulties uploading files using FTP (e.g. connection keeps interrupting), you can try doing it through cPanel.file

tip

If you need help using cPanel, see this tutorial or this video course for beginners: How To Use cPanel

Transferring Files Using cPanel’s File Manager: Step-By-Step Tutorial

Let’s show you how to use cPanel’s File Manager to upload files from your computer or external hard drive to your web server.

We’ll go through a step-by-step example on how to upload and extract a zipped file.

Note: Make sure your hosting uses cPanel for this tutorial. Otherwise, check with your hosting company to see what file transfer tools they provide.

First, log into cPanel…

cPanel login screen.
cPanel’s login screen.

File Manager is located in the Tools > Files section of your cPanel administration screen.

Click on File Manager

cPanel: Files - File Manager
cPanel: Files – File Manager

Your server files will be visible inside the File Manager screen.

File Manager screen
The File Manager screen.

Some of the main functions you will use inside File Manager to perform file transfer operations include:

  • Move File – allows you to select files and move them into another directory. This feature is useful if you upload files to the wrong folder and want to move these to another folder location.
  • Upload – allows you to upload files directly to your server. This feature is useful when performing manual software updates, and restoring or reinstalling website files.
  • Download – allows you to download files from your server to your local machine. This feature is useful when performing manual backups.
  • Delete – allows you to delete selected folders and files on your server.
  • Extract – allows you to unzip files inside your server directories. This feature is useful for uploading folders or multiple files (covered below).
  • Compress – allows you to compress (zip) folders inside your server directories. This feature is useful for downloading entire folders, large files, etc.
File Transfer Tools: cPanel File Manager - Functions
cPanel’s File Manager allows you to perform a range of useful functions by clicking buttons.

Additionally, you will find useful Directory Navigation Menu Buttons inside the File Manager area, including:

  • Up One Level – Moves files up one level inside the folder.
  • Reload – Refreshes your screen.
  • Select All – Selects all files.
  • Unselect All  – Unselects all files.
File Transfer Tools: cPanel File Manager - Navigation
Use the buttons in the navigation menu to perform additional functions.

Using File Manager To Upload And Extract Zipped Files

In this example, we’ll show you how to upload and extract a zipped plugin file to your server.

First, make sure to have your zipped file ready for upload.

Zipped file inside hard drive
A zipped file ready to upload to the server.

Next, log into cPanel and open up the File Manager panel.

File Manager screen
Log into cPanel’s File Manager.

You can drill down folder hierarchies to access nested folders and files by double-clicking on the upper directory folders.

File Transfer Tools: cPanel File Manager
Double-click folders to access nested folders and files

Next, locate the folder on your server where you will upload your file and click Upload.

In the screenshot below, we will upload the zipped plugin file into the plugins folder section of our WordPress site installation.

File manager - Upload button
Click on the Upload button to upload your file to your server.

A new screen called ‘Upload files’ will open up in your web browser. You can drag and drop files into the section with the dotted border to automatically begin uploading your files, or click on the ‘Select File’ button as shown below, then locate and select your zipped file to upload.

cPanel's File Manager: File Upload screen - Select File button
Click the Select File button to select and upload your file.

Select your file and click ‘Open’ to begin uploading the file to your server …

Browser window with zipped file selected and Open button highlighted.
Select your file and click the Open button to upload your file to your server.

File Manager will begin to upload your file to your server. Wait until the file has finished uploading.

Screen of File Manager's Upload screen showing files being uploaded.
Wait until your files have been uploaded…

Once your file has been uploaded, click on the “Go Back…” link to return to the folder inside your File Manager’s screen where you have uploaded the file to.

File Manager's upload screen with file uploaded.
Your file has now been uploaded. Click on the link to return to the File Manager’s folder screen.

You should see the file you have uploaded inside the folder on your server.

info

If you cannot see the file, then do the following:

  1. Check that you are in the correct folder, and
  2. Click the Reload button to refresh the screen.
File manager - Reload button
Click Reload to refresh the screen if you cannot see the file you have just uploaded.

Also, if you upload a file to the wrong directory, use the Move button to select the right destination folder for your file.

File manager - Move button
Have you uploaded a file to the wrong folder on your server? No problem, use the Move button to place it in the right folder.

After your zipped file has been uploaded, click on the ‘Extract’ button to decompress (unzip) your file.

File Manager - Extract Button
Let’s extract this zipped file inside your server.

A pop-up window will appear asking you to confirm the location where you want to extract your files to. Click Extract File(s) to continue.

Extract pop-up windown
Click Extract Files to confirm and begin unzipping your file.

The ‘Extraction Results’ window displays all of your extracted files once the operation has been completed.

Click Close to return to the File Manager screen.

Extraction Results window.
All of your zipped files are now extracted. Go ahead and close the Extraction Results window.

Click the Reload button to refresh your screen.

File Manager - Reload Button
Click Reload to refresh your screen.

All uploaded files are now extracted and added to your server.

File Manager screen - New uploaded file extracted.
Your newly uploaded file…fully extracted and ready for use!

You can delete the original zip file from your server to save space and keep your folder free of unnecessary clutter.

To delete the zipped file, select it in your File Manager screen and click on the Delete button.

File Manager - Delete Zip file from server.
Select the original zipped file and click the Delete button to remove the file from your server and save space.

The above method for uploading files to your server is useful. Large files that normally take a long time to upload via FTP can upload in seconds or just a few minutes when transferred using cPanel’s File Manager.

Not all hosting companies offer cPanel. Many hosting companies, however, offer a file manager application, so check with your web host.

How To Configure Server File Permission Settings

Most software program installations nowadays will configure everything automatically for you. Sometimes, however,  you may need to manually set permissions to allow other users to read, write, modify, and/or access information after uploading some files or programs to your web server.

File permissions specify what can and can’t be done to your server files and folders or directories.

Server file permissions specify what can and can't be done to your files
Server file permissions specify what can and can’t be done to your files.

This is important because some applications need to upload or access files in some of your server directories to perform certain functions. If permissions for these files or directories are not enabled or set correctly, it can cause errors.

File permissions error
Errors can occur if file permissions on server directories are not set correctly.

For example, if your site runs on WordPress and permissions have not been automatically set or enabled for files in your wp-content directory, you may experience errors when uploading plugins or you may not be able to save changes made to plugin settings.

Refer to the short tutorial below to learn how to configure server file permission settings for files and directories on an open-source operating system like Linux.

Again, we recommend doing a full backup of your website’s files and data before modifying any files on your server.

How To Configure File Permission Settings On Your Server (Linux)

CHMOD

Chmod (abbreviated from change mode) is a command that lets a user tell the system (or server) how much or how little access it should permit a file or a file directory to be given.

It changes the file system modes of files and directories, including permissions and special modes.

How To Configure File Permission Settings On Your Server
If you experience issues you may need to configure file permission settings on your server.
Setting File Permission Settings Using ‘CHMOD’

If you use an FTP program like Filezilla, do the following to view and change security permission settings for your server files and folders:

  1. Access your server
  2. Locate the directory or file with the permissions you want to change
  3. Right-click on the file and select ‘Properties’
How To Configure File Permission Settings - Properties
File Properties

The CHMOD options should display in the menu. If not, access the help section of your FTP client and search for chmod, permissions, or change mode. Most FTP programs have this feature readily available.

To change or set permissions for your files, simply check or uncheck the permission boxes (for Owner, Group, or Public), or add the desired permission setting number in the Manual display field, then click OK to save.

CHMOD File Permissions
Setting CHMOD File Permissions

Common WordPress file and directory permissions include the following settings:

  • 777Everything for everyone. This command gives read, write, and execute permission to the owner, group, and public. chmod 777 is considered potentially dangerous because you are giving read, write, and execute permission on a file/directory to everyone on your system. Normally, this setting should be avoided.
  • 755Only the owner can write, read and execute for everyone. This command means that only the owner will be allowed to write to the file. The owner, group members, and everyone else will have read and execute permissions.
  • 644Everyone can read, only the owner can write. With this setting, the owner will have read and write permissions while the group and everyone else has read permission only.

Setting directory permissions to make your files writable depends on your web hosting environment. For example, to make a file or directory writable, you would normally set (i.e. chmod) file permissions either to 777 or 755.

Notes:

  • Only change file permission settings if your site installation or plugin requires it. Normally, this will either be specified in a user manual (e.g. a plugin manual or installation guide) or if changing file permissions is required while performing some kind of function on your site (e.g. installing or making changes to plugins or themes).
  • If you are performing installations using wizards, a notification message will usually appear on your screen asking you to make a particular file or directory writable, or specifying which permission settings you need to change.
  • Unless the change required to the file permission settings is permanent, you would normally restore the file to its original settings after making and saving the change for security purposes (e.g. changing a file from 644 to 755, then back to 644 again). This prevents hackers and unauthorized users from accessing and modifying the files on your server.
  • After making changes to files, refresh your site’s page in your browser to make sure that everything is working correctly.
  • Changing file permissions is not complicated. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing or if you are concerned that you might do something that can cause errors, don’t modify any files. Instead, ask your web hosting provider or someone with more knowledge or experience to do this for you.
  • If you experience errors after changing permission settings, change the permission settings back to what they were and see if the error messages disappear. If errors persist after restoring file permissions, contact your web hosting provider for help.

Use this handy chmod calculator if you need help configuring different file or directory permissions.

Amazon S3

If you are hosting media files (e.g. an image) on Amazon S3 (covered in the next section) and the file is not displaying correctly on your browser, you may not have set the correct permissions for that file.

Typically, this is what you will see if a file has incorrect permissions…

S3 file error - This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it.
This is what you will see if you have not set the correct permissions for your file on Amazon S3.

To display images stored on Amazon S3 on your website’s pages, set your file permissions as shown below:

S3 Permissions
Set up your image file permission as shown here and click Apply Changes to display images stored on Amazon S3 to users on your website.

Full Control

  • Owner – Tick the checkbox
  • Any AWS Users – Leave the checkbox unticked
  • All Users – Leave the checkbox unticked

Read

  • Owner – Leave the checkbox unticked
  • Any AWS Users – Tick the checkbox
  • All Users – Tick the checkbox

After ticking the boxes as described above, click on Apply changes to set your file permissions.

The images should now display to your website users. The Amazon S3 section below shows you how to add media files from S3 to your web pages.

Transferring Files To Cloud Storage Services

Your website files can be stored on your web server or a cloud storage service.

Some of the most popular storage services for storing files remotely in the cloud include:

  • Amazon S3
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox

Let’s take a brief look at each of these services and how to transfer cloud-hosted files to and from your devices and your website.

Amazon S3

Fie transfer Tools: Amazon S3
Store your files remotely using Amazon S3’s cloud storage service.

Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service) is a scalable cloud storage service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Amazon S3 is great for storing all kinds of files, especially media files, website backups, data archives, and more.

Amazon S3 storage folders are called buckets.

Amazon S3 buckets
With Amazon S3, you store your files in buckets (folders).

A bucket is a container for objects stored in Amazon S3. You can store any number of objects in a bucket and can have up to 100 buckets in your account.

Many applications can connect directly with your Amazon S3 account, allowing you to quickly and easily upload and store files in your s3 buckets and serve these directly on your website.

For example, the image below is being hosted on Amazon S3.

Puppy image
This image of a cute puppy is hosted on Amazon S3.

To check this using Google’s Chrome browser, right-click on the image and choose Inspect.

Google Chrome Browser - Inspect
Right-click on the image and select Inspect (Chrome browser users).

You should see an Amazon S3 bucket address displayed for the image.

Chrome Browser - Inspect
This image is hosted on Amazon S3 as the Chrome Browser’s Inspect function shows.

Uploading files directly to Amazon buckets can be a little complicated, so we recommend using a tool like the one below to transfer files to and from your computer or hard drive and your Amazon S3 account…

S3 Browser

S3 Browser
We recommend using a tool like S3 Browser to upload files to your S3 account.

S3 Browser is a free Windows client for Amazon S3 and Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network, (CDN). We use and recommend installing the paid version of this tool as S3 Browser is free for personal use only.

Also, as this site is built using WordPress, media files stored on Amazon S3 can be inserted directly into the content, so here’s what we did to display the image above on this web page:

First, we uploaded the image to our Amazon s3 account…

Amazon S3 - Image uploaded to S3 bucket.
Image uploaded to S3 bucket.

After the image was uploaded, we then set file permissions as explained earlier, right-clicked on the file, and selected Generate Web URL…

File Transfer Tools: Amazon S3 Browser - Generate Web URL
Select Generate Web URL…

We then copied the URL of the image to our clipboard…

S3 Browser - Copy to clipboard.
Click the button to copy the file URL to your clipboard.

And pasted the URL into the content…

Paste image from Amazon S3 into content.
Paste…done!

That’s it! When you look at that image on our web page, it’s being served from Amazon S3, not from our web server.

tip

Remember to add an alt tag image and a caption to your image URL before publishing to improve your content SEO.

WordPress text tab showing Amazon S3 image URL pasted into content.
Easily add media files hosted on Amazon S3 to a WordPress site.

Amazon S3 also allows you to set up a “bucket policy” on your server that protects files stored in buckets from being hotlinked.

See this lesson for more details: How To Prevent Hotlinking

Google Drive

Google Drive screen
Store your files and documents on Google Drive.

Google Drive lets you store files on Google’s servers in the cloud. You can also share files and synchronize files across different devices.

Google Drive is great for storing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms, and other files created using Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. It also lets you collaborate with your content team to edit your documents.

Files created and edited through the Google Docs suite are automatically saved in Google Drive. You can also upload large files (up to 750 GB in size), and change privacy settings for individual files and folders, including enabling sharing with other users or making your content public.

Tutorial: How To Embed Files From Google Drive Into Your Website

You can easily embed files from Google Drive into your website.

In this example, we’ll embed an image stored on Google Drive into a WordPress site.

tip

Note: You can use the same method as shown in the tutorial below to embed other types of files into your site like videos, audios, etc.

After uploading your media file to Google Drive, right-click on the file and select Preview.

Google Drive file - Preview
Right-click on your file and select Preview.

Next, click on the vertical ellipsis icon (More Options) and select Open in new window

File Transfer Tools: Google Drive - Open in new window.
Select Open in new window.

Click on the vertical ellipsis icon again and select Embed item

File Transfer Tools: Google Drive -Embed item.
Select Embed item…

Copy the embed code to your clipboard…

File Transfer Tools: Google Drive - Embed item
Select and copy the embed code to your clipboard.

If you are using the WordPress classic editor, switch to the Text tab and paste the content from your clipboard into the location where you want your image (or video, or audio file, etc.) to display.

WordPress: Add New Post - Paste the embed code into your content.
Paste the embed code into your content.

Your embedded file should display when you publish and preview your content.

WordPress post displaying embedded image file from Amazon S3.
Your embedded image file from Amazon S3.

If you are using the WordPress block editor, select the Custom HTML block…

WordPress Block Editor - Custom HTML Block.
Select the Custom HTML Block if you are using the WordPress Block Editor.

Paste your S3 embed code into the block and publish or update your post.

Custom HTML Block - Pasted-in content.
Paste your embed code into the Custom HTML Block and publish or update your post.

Publish and view your content to see the embedded media file.

WordPress post with embedded file hosted on Amazon S3.
WordPress post with embedded file hosted on Amazon S3.

If you use WordPress, you can use a plugin like Google Drive Embedder to easily add files stored in Amazon S3 to your content.

Google Drive Embedder plugin for WordPress.
Google Drive Embedder plugin for WordPress.

Dropbox

Dropbox screen
The Dropbox screen.

Dropbox is a file hosting service that lets you store, share, and synchronize files in the cloud.

tip

Dropbox is excellent for transferring files between multiple devices, as it allows you to access your account from anywhere, on any device.

For example, let’s say that you have a home computer and a work laptop and your media editing tools are installed on both devices.

With Dropbox (and Google Drive too), you can upload files to your account while you are at work via your laptop…

File Transfer Tool: Dropbox - Uploading screen.
Upload files to Dropbox from one device (e.g. your work laptop)…

And download these files to your home computer when you get home to continue working…

Download files window
And download the files from Dropbox to another device (e.g. your home computer).

WordPress

The WordPress CMS has many powerful features for uploading and managing files to your website.

For example:

WordPress Media Library

The WordPress Media Library lets you upload all kinds of media files to your site and comes with many built-in features for managing your uploaded files.

The WordPress Media Library
You can use drag and drop or select files to upload media to your WordPress site.

For a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial on using this powerful feature of WordPress, go here: How To Use The WordPress Media Library

Additionally, see these tutorials:

WordPress Plugins

In addition to the Media Library, there are various WordPress Media Plugins you can use to transfer and manage files on your site from your computer and cloud storage services.

For example, S3 Media Maestro lets you display videos hosted on Amazon S3 securely on your site.

S3 Media Maestro
Use S3 Media Maestro to display content stored on Amazon S3 securely on your WordPress site.

If you store files on Google Drive, you can use a plugin like Google Drive Embedder to add files to your content.

Google Drive Embedder plugin for WordPress.
Google Drive Embedder plugin for WordPress.

You can also use a plugin like Dropr to easily access files from your Dropbox account and add them to your WordPress website.

Dropr - Dropbox plugin for WordPress
Dropr is a Dropbox plugin for WordPress.

For more plugins that can help you manage the transfer of files to your WordPress site, see this section: WordPress Media Plugins

WordPress Automatic Updates

WordPress has a built-in feature that automatically transfers data like new software updates, plugins, and themes from the main WordPress repository (WordPress.org) to the WordPress installation files in your server.

It also automatically uploads, extracts, and places all data directly into the correct folders inside your web server and database.

The WordPress auto-updating feature is useful for transferring files from your server when:

  • Updating WordPress via the dashboard
  • Uploading and installing WordPress plugins
  • Updating WordPress plugins
  • Uploading and installing WordPress themes
  • Updating WordPress themes

The ability to perform updates directly inside your WordPress dashboard is extremely convenient. However, keep the following in mind…

One-click updates work on most servers. If you have any problems, it is probably related to permissions issues on the filesystem.

(Source: WordPress Codex – Updating WordPress)

See the section earlier on configuring server file permissions if you run into any issues with WordPress (also refer to this WordPress Troubleshooting Guide if you experience other errors on your site).

Zapier

Zapier lets you connect and integrate your web applications and automate your workflows.

Essentially, Zapier allows thousands of different applications to communicate with each other and create all kinds of “when this happens…automatically do this” tasks (called “Zaps”), saving you a lot of time in the process.

Zapier also offers many integrations with WordPress.

For example, you can easily connect your Amazon S3 account with your WordPress website to create all kinds of automated actions like uploading files to buckets or media files to WordPress…

Zapier - Amazon S3 and WordPress Integrations
Connect and automate tasks between Amazon S3 and WordPress.

Similarly, you can connect your Google Drive account with your WordPress site

Zapier - Google Drive and WordPress Integrations
Automate tasks between Google Drive and WordPress.

And connect Dropbox with your WordPress site

Zapier - Dropbox and WordPress Integrations
Automate tasks between Dropbox and WordPress.

Zapier offers extensive help documentation, including detailed tutorials on how to integrate the tool with all kinds of services.

Video Courses For Beginners – Transferring Files

The video courses below cover basic areas of transferring files and are ideal for beginners (note: you can access all of the video courses below with a single all-access pass):

How To Use FTP - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Use FTP

Learn how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload, download, and transfer files between your computer and your web server.

More info: How To Use FTP

How To Use Amazon S3 - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Use Amazon S3

Learn how to set up and use Amazon S3 to upload, store, manage, and protect your site’s images, large media files, downloadable files, stream videos, and more.

More info: How To Use Amazon S3

How To Use cPanel - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Use cPanel

Learn how to use cPanel to easily manage your webhosting and email accounts.

More info: How To Use cPanel

How To Backup & Restore WordPress Sites - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Back Up & Restore WordPress Sites

Learn how to safely and automatically back up your WordPress files and database and how to easily restore your WordPress site if something unexpected or disastrous were to happen.

More info: How To Back Up & Restore WordPress Sites

How To Set Up WordPress On LocalhostHow To Set Up WordPress On Localhost

Learn how to install, set up, and locally host a fully functioning WordPress site on your computer.

More info: How To Set Up WordPress On Localhost

How To Use Softaculous - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Use Softaculous

Learn how to install WordPress on your domain using Softaculous.

More info: How To Use Softaculous

***

For more video courses, see this section: Digital Business Video Courses

Summary

Effective content management involves the continuous transfer of files between users, different devices, web servers, and remote storage services.

In this lesson, we have covered many different methods you can use to transfer files and share content in your organization.

Action Steps

Make an inventory of the file transfer tools, methods, and processes used in your organization and make sure there is workflow documentation for your content team on how to use these effectively.

Resources

  • WordPress User Manual – The most detailed and comprehensive step-by-step WordPress user manual for non-technical website users available.

References

Return To The Main Tools And Resources Section

Images: Cloud Computing, Blogging, Email Marketing, Flowers

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Content Production Tools

Useful tools and resources to help you speed up your content planning and content production.

Content Production Tools And Resources

Useful tools and resources to help you speed up your content planning and content production.

Content Production ToolsAn efficient content production process requires efficient tools.

The tools and resources listed below will help you save time with content planning and speed up your content production.

Use them together with these content research tools and resources to help organize your files, notes, and other production scheduling processes.

***

Content Planning & Scheduling

The tools and resources listed below will help to speed up your content planning and content production scheduling.

Bookmarks

Your web browser’s Bookmarking tool is a great way to organize and access links to useful documentation, regularly-used tools and services, and other valuable content production resources quickly and easily.

Before adding bookmarks to your web browser, we recommend spending a little bit of time planning the structure of your bookmarking folders. This will save you a lot of time locating these later as your bookmarking list grows.

Content Production Tools - Bookmark Organization
Use your web browser’s Bookmarks tool to organize bookmarking folders, and save links to useful documentation, tools, and online resources.

tip

You can use your web browser’s bookmarks to create a ‘master’ set of bookmarks linking to all the documentation and other useful tools and resources your content team will need to work efficiently.

To do this, first, organize all the different folders you will need in your own web browser’s bookmarking tool…

Chrome Browser - Bookmarks
Organize your bookmark folders.

Next, add all the important links to the documentation, tools, and resources your team will need.

Google Chrome Browser - Bookmarks
Bookmark all the tools and resources you need to speed up content production.

Next, export your Bookmark files and share this export file with your team members. Ask them to import these into their own web browsers, so everyone in your team has access to the same resources.

Chrome Browser - Import and Export Bookmarks
Share bookmarks containing links to documentation and useful resources with your content team.

See these guides to using bookmarks in different web browsers and devices:

Spreadsheets

Who doesn’t love using spreadsheets?

Spreadsheets are excellent tools for creating and tracking content production processes and designing and testing workflow prototypes.

Here is a simple way to create a content production workflow using spreadsheets:

  1. Create columns for each workflow process you want to track
  2. Arrange columns in sequential order
  3. Add new projects to rows (one per row).
  4. Use color coding to highlight the status of your projects. For example:
    • Yellow = Work-in-progress
    • Green =  Completed (published)
    • Red = Needs attention
Content Production Workflow
Use spreadsheets to create simple content production workflows and colors to highlight your project status.

Let’s take a look at some popular spreadsheet applications.

Google Sheets

Content Production Tools - Google Sheets
Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a full-featured spreadsheet tool from Google.

Google Sheets can be accessed online via a desktop or mobile device. Additionally, Google Sheets can be stored on a Google Drive account and shared with different users, allowing for collaboration.

Excel

Content Production Tools - Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is part of the Microsoft Office suite and is available only as a subscription service.

WPS Spreadsheet

Content Production Tools - WPS Spreadsheet
WPS Spreadsheet

WPS Spreadsheet is another free spreadsheet application.

WPS Spreadsheet:

  • Is compatible with office suites like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, LibreOffice Calc, and OpenOffice Calc.
  • Works with common file formats like .xls, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlt, and .csv.
  • Lets you edit spreadsheet files on mobile devices, computers, or web pages.
  • Offers many spreadsheet templates for a wide range of applications.

Smartsheet

Content Production Tools - Smartsheet
Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a SaaS collaboration and work management tool that lets you effectively manage your team’s work, projects, and processes through team collaboration, workflow automation, and content production management tools.

Smartsheet lets you assign tasks, track project progress, manage calendars, and share documents using a tabular user interface.

More info: Smartsheet

Airtable

Content Production Tools - Airtable
Airtable

If you like using spreadsheets to manage projects, you may want to look into Airtable.

Airtable is a cloud collaboration service best described as a “hybrid” between a spreadsheet and a database (i.e. it has database features applied to a spreadsheet).

As this article on Airtable explains…

“A basic rule of thumb is that a database is more suited to organize a large amount of information. Spreadsheets are the best fit for running calculations. Airtable gives you the best of both worlds: a relational database that’s as easy to work with as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.”

Airtable is an ideal tool for creating spreadsheet-like editorial calendars and content inventories but with the power of relational databases.

For example, you can create spreadsheet-like sortable tables for:

  • An editorial calendar
  • Storing the names and email addresses of outsourced service providers, freelancers, etc.
  • Posts that need reviewing or updating
  • Posts that need a “search and replace” (e.g. replace old pricing or a rebranded product name), etc.

Airtable is also a low-code tool, so you don’t need to learn database scripting languages like SQL to use it.

More info: Airtable

Calendar

The next content production tool to consider is a calendar.

Calendar applications are essential tools for creating an editorial calendar that will help you meet publishing deadlines.

You can create an editorial/content calendar using a spreadsheet, a calendar application, or using an integrated workflow tool.

Google Calendar

Content Production Tools - Google Calendar
Image source: Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a smart calendar tool from Google.

Google Calendar lets you:

  • Schedule events and share calendars across your team.
  • View and edit your schedule from your laptop, tablet, or phone (you can sync with your phone’s built-in calendar or use optimized mobile apps).
  • Set event reminders.
  • Create group calendars.
  • Publish calendars on the web.
  • Migrate calendars from other applications (e.g.  Outlook) and file types.

More info: Google Calendar

Work & Collaboration Tools

If your organization requires managing a range of projects, tasks, and activities across different people, teams, or departments, you may need to consider upgrading your content production tools and switching to integrated workflow and communication/collaboration software.

Here are some popular work and collaboration tools you can use across your team or organization to improve workflow and productivity.

Slack

Slack
Slack

Slack is a tool that allows individuals across teams, departments, and organizations to communicate and collaborate online via channels, messaging,  team meetings (called Huddles), and more.

Slack also lets you easily upload and share files like documents, videos, artwork, etc., from your computer and shared drives.

Slack - thread with file attachment
Slack lets you share files like documents, videos, artwork, etc. with your team.

Slack provides its own documentation, including webinars and resources for new users.

More info: Slack

Zoom

Zoom
Zoom

Zoom is a cloud-based communications tool that allows people to meet online using their desktop or phone, and communicate via video and audio conferencing, chats, screen sharing, file sharing, whiteboard tools, and more.

Learn how to get the most out of this tool from the Zoom Learning Center.

More info: Zoom

For other work and collaboration tools, see the References section at the end of this lesson.

Market Muse

MarketMuse
MarketMuse

MarketMuse is a cloud-based content planning tool used by content creators, content marketers, publishers, marketing agencies, and eCommerce companies.

The tool includes components that can greatly aid your content production, such as MarketMuse Inventory, which automates your content inventory and content auditing processes by collecting and organizing your pages, analyzing them, and making them more easily accessible.

MarketMuse’s AI-driven content briefs help writers produce quality SEO-optimized content with instructions on how to structure the article, what topics to address, what questions to answer, what content to link internally and externally, and more.

Users can access content briefs without logging into the platform using a special link and writers can work directly from within the brief and get scored against suggestions as they go.

More info: MarketMuse

Swimlane Diagrams

Swimlane Diagram
Source: Smartsheet.com

A swimlane diagram is a type of flowchart that you can use to outline who does what in your content production process.

You can use various tools to create swim lane diagrams (e.g. Lucid Chart)  or create a basic swimlane diagram in Word or PowerPoint.

See this article if you need help on how to create swim lane diagrams.

Here are some sites where you can download swimlane diagram templates:

Text Tools

Here are some useful text-based tools and resources:

Text Editors

For text editors, see the Content Research Tools section.

Text Expander

TextExpander
TextExpander

TextExpander is a time-saving tool that increases your productivity and efficiency by allowing you to quickly store, share, and retrieve information using Snippets.

Snippets are longer repetitive texts paired with an abbreviation that you type in its place. Essentially, you can think of TextExpander as a “copy and paste” tool on steroids.

Instead of searching through and copying text from old emails, notes, or a repository where you keep content that you use repeatedly, you can simply type an abbreviation as a shortcode into your content and it will then insert a full-blown content snippet that you have previously created and saved.

TextExpander - Snippets
Use TextExpander’s Snippets to save time adding content in repetitive tasks.

Snippets also allow you to create content templates with “fill in the blank” fields and different snippet groups.

Some of the more common uses for this tool are writing out customer support responses, creating follow-up emails, recruitment messages, and many daily work tasks.

More info: TextExpander

Content Workflow Management

Project management software lets you plan, schedule, organize, and track your content production projects, and communicate with your team.

Trello

Trello
Trello

Trello lets you plan, organize, and track your projects visually.

You can manage multiple tasks for any type of project, workflow, or task tracking using Kanban-style boards with lists and cards that simulate the use of “sticky” notes and can include checklists, deadlines, attachments, conversations, etc.

From there, you can incorporate task assignments, calendars, timelines, productivity metrics, and more.

More info: Trello

Jira

Jira
Jira

Jira lets you plan, schedule, organize, and track your projects and communicate with your team.

Team members can track projects at any stage, move projects around boards easily using drag and drop, and access various reports.

Jobs created in Jira allow for workflow customization, team communication, adding notes, attaching files, creating subtasks, and more.

Jira also integrates with applications like Slack.

More info: Jira

Asana

Asana
Asana

Asana acts as a communication hub and lets you assign respective tasks to relevant team members for specific projects.

With Asana, teams can integrate and share tasks, files, plans, and goals, and manage their work from a single app, providing visibility to all members involved.

Additionally, projects can be split up into actionable tasks and assigned to multiple collaborators, and team members can view tasks through a choice of various views (e.g. board, calendar, list view, timeline, workload, and portfolio views).

Asana provides a traditional checklist format for project management with customizable collaboration tools and project-level reporting dashboards. It also supports third-party apps (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Dropbox, etc.), the implementation of data from other applications, an Android and iOS app, and a mobile site that can be accessed on any device.

Asana provides useful templates for content-related activities, including:

More info: Asana

Monday

Monday
Monday

Monday is a productivity suite and work management software that lets you centralize work processes, tools, and files and customize dashboards and workflows to fit your organization’s needs using customizable “no code” building blocks.

These building blocks include items, columns, views, automation, integrations, and widgets. You adapt each building block to build applications and tools that fit your needs.

The software allows you to manage production projects and other workflows with cross-team collaboration tools, easy-to-use automation, and real-time notifications.

More info: Monday

Brightpod

Brightpod
Brightpod

Brightpod is a web-based project management tool that:

  • Provides a unified system for campaigns, content, and website projects.
  • Lets you build guidelines and checklists, and organize, manage and track all your SEO, social media, blog strategy, and content marketing projects from one place to save time.
  • Helps you organize, manage, and track your team’s work from a central location.
  • Allows your team to accurately view the progress of their projects and helps to address issues of collaboration such as email spam, multiple file versions, lost files, task accountability issues, lack of clarity & work transparency.
  • Lets you see everyone’s tasks, content publish dates, and events on the shared calendar, see what is coming up next, and manage deliverables when growing your projects and clients.
  • Helps you work smarter, automate, and simplify communication.

Brightpod sits somewhere between being a simple project tool and a more complex project management software and includes features like Kanban and list tasks, recurring tasks, time tracking and estimates,  activity logs, milestones, messages, calendar, reports and analytics, workflows, automatic email reminders, project cloning, and more.

More info: Brightpod

Optimizely

Optimizely
Optimizely’s Content Management Cloud CMS

Optimizely is a digital experience platform SaaS that provides tools to help you improve your site’s optimization and achieve better conversion rates.

Optimizely’s Content Management lets you create, tailor and scale content for an enterprise CMS, run multiple shops, inventory, and an online/offline catalog, use AI to test and optimize new features, and more.

More info: Optimizely

GatherContent

GatherContent
GatherContent

GatherContent allows everyone involved in content creation to work together to plan, organize, and produce content in one cloud platform.

GatherContent lets you organize content into shared projects and folders to create a single source of truth for content. It allows content teams to collaborate on content creation, search, filter, or sort content, perform tasks in bulk, assign work to contributors, identify bottlenecks in the workflow, and more.

GatherContent workflow
GatherContent creates a single source of truth for content production.

More info: GatherContent

Content Creation Tools

Use the tools below to help you create content for your website faster:

AI Content Writing Tools

We have created a free video course on using AI to generate content and an entire article where we discuss and demonstrate the tools below here: Generate Website Content Using AI

ChatGPT

ChatGPT
ChatGPT is an impressive tool that uses advanced AI technology to create human-like text.

ChatGPT is a powerful language model developed by OpenAI that can generate human-like text based on a given prompt.

It can be used for a variety of purposes, including generating content for websites and social media, creating chatbot responses, and more.

More info: ChatGPT

Quillbot

Quillbot
Quillbot – AI-powered content writing, paraphrasing, and grammar-checking tool.

Quillbot is a natural language processing tool that will help you rewrite and paraphrase sentences and paragraphs.

The tool uses advanced algorithms to understand the context and meaning of the text and then suggests alternative ways of expressing the same ideas.

Use Quillbot to improve your writing style, generate new content ideas, and avoid plagiarism.

For example, here is an article outline generated by Quillbot:

Quillbot - Article Outline
An article outline generated by Quillbot.

After generating the outline, you can then use the tool’s features to flesh out the content sections.

Quillbot is available online as a website and can also be accessed through a browser extension.

More info: Quillbot

Spin Rewriter

SpinRewriter
SpinRewriter uses content spinning (spintax) to generate unique versions of your content.

Spin Rewriter is a software tool that analyzes and rewrites articles to create unique, high-quality content.

It uses a proprietary technology called ENL Semantic Spinning to thoroughly understand the meaning of the original article and generate new, readable versions using a hand-curated database of synonyms.

With Spin Rewriter, you can rewrite your articles at the paragraph, sentence, phrase, and single-word levels. The software also allows you to fully automate the process with a single click.

Here is a live video demo of the tool in action:

Spin Rewriter has received high praise from its users and is considered the best article-spinning tool on the market. It is compatible with a variety of SEO software and supports multiple spintax formats. All of your articles are encrypted in the software’s database for added security.

Spin Rewriter can also be easily integrated into other SEO software products for even more powerful performance.

More info: Spin Rewriter

Infographics

Here are useful resources for sourcing infographics for your content:

For infographic creation tools, see Media Creation Tools or visit this great compilation of over 100 infographic tools and resources.

Text-To-Speech

Use text-to-speech software to create a wide range of audio-based content.

Speechelo

Speechelo - Text-To-Speech Software
Speechelo – Text-To-Speech Software

Speechelo provides realistic and expressive AI voice sounds and is very easy to use. Simply create the voiceover, download the mp3, and import it into your video editor (it works with all video creation software).

You can create engaging voiceovers for sales videos, training videos, educational videos, explainer videos, product review videos, webinars, video ads, audio presentations, narrated web pages, recorded announcements, review draft articles, and a whole lot more!

Speechelo’s text-to-speech engine provides inflection controls with different voice tones for reading text (normal reading, joyful, and serious),  settings for breath control, pauses, changing speed & pitch, over 30 human-sounding male and female voices, support for 23 languages, and more.

This is a cloud-based tool that lets you convert any text into a 100% human-sounding voiceover in English and other languages.

More info: Speechelo

tip

If you need help creating audio-based content using text-to-speech, see this excellent Text-to-Speech Course (narrated entirely using AI voices).

Royalty-Free Media

If you need royalty-free images, music, or videos for your content, check out the resources below:

Images

Find free and royalty-free images – A comprehensive list of sites where you can find free and royalty-free images (photos, illustrations, vector images, clipart, etc). Some of the sites also provide free access to stock videos and video clips.

Music

  • BenSound – Royalty free music for content creators. You can download copyright safe music for use in videos (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) and use it freely in return for attribution, or subscribe to one of the site’s paid plans.

Videos

Pexels – Videos (and images) can be downloaded and used for free. No attribution required.

Content Creation Services

There are different types of content creation services available.

Freelancers

If you don’t have an in-house content creation team, you can hire freelancers to help you with your content creation.

For resources on finding freelancers and outsourced talent, see this section: Outsourcing.

PLR

Private Label Rights (PLR) content is content written by external service providers, which is then resold to customers.

With PLR content, all the content planning, research, and writing are done by a 3rd-party. You just buy the finished product and use it or resell it as your own.

While PLR content can help you save time and money writing web content, the content is not original (as the same content is resold many times to other customers) and most are not very high quality (often requiring extensive rewriting).

The main value of using PLR content is to save time creating information products to use as lead generation magnets, additional bonuses for subscribing to your service or buying your main product, and as individual or bundled digital products to sell online.

For more information on using PLR content and PLR resources, see this tutorial: Using Private Label Rights Content

WordPress

WordPress is, effectively, a content management system designed for optimal content production.

WordPress Content Editor

If you use WordPress as a CMS, most of your content production will take place in the content editor area.

WordPress Block Editor - Content Area
The WordPress Editor is where you add most of the content for your web pages and posts.

If you use the WordPress block editor, for example, you can quickly build content-rich web pages using all kinds of different “blocks”.

WordPress Content Editor - Blocks
Add content to WordPress using blocks.

For step-by-step tutorials on using the WordPress content editor, go here:

Also, see the WordPress User Manual for hundreds of step-by-step tutorials on all aspects of using a WordPress website.

WordPress Plugins

See the WordPress plugins section for plugins that can help you with different aspects of content production.

Video Courses For Beginners – Content Production

The video courses below cover basic areas of content production and are ideal for beginners (note: you can access all of the video courses below with a single all-access pass):

How To Create Engaging Presentations - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Create Engaging Presentations

Learn how to create beautiful and engaging presentations that will help you sell more products and services online.

More info: How To Create Engaging Presentations

Digital Branding - WPMasterclasses.comDigital Branding

Learn simple and inexpensive ways to boost your brand and identity online and make your business stand out from your competition.

More info: Digital Branding

Digital Product Creation - WPMasterclasses.comDigital Product Creation

Learn how to create, launch, and sell high-quality digital products like downloadable reports, e-books, videos, and audio content quickly and cost-effectively.

More info: Digital Product Creation

Graphic Creation Tools - WPMasterclasses.comUsing Graphic Creation Tools

Learn how to access and use free image creation and editing tools, basic and advanced image editing techniques using tools like Photoshop and free alternatives, creating images for web content, presentations, infographics, social media, and so much more.

More info: Using Graphic Creation Tools

Podcasting - WPMasterclasses.comPodcasting

Learn how to get started with podcasting and how to promote your podcasts to grow your business.

More info: Podcasting

Using Webinars - WPMasterclasses.comUsing Webinars

Learn about the benefits of using webinars in your business, how to create high-quality and engaging webinars, and how to sell your products and services using webinars.

More info: Using Webinars

Text-To-Speech - WPMasterclasses.comText-To-Speech

In this practical step-by-step video course, you will learn how to use text-to-speech and the latest AI voice technologies to create professional and realistic-sounding voice narrations from text files for a wide range of commercial uses and business applications.

More info: Text-To-Speech

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For more video courses, see this section: Digital Business Video Courses

Summary

Efficient content production tools help to make your content production process more efficient.

The tools and resources listed in this section will help you save time with content planning and speed up your content production.

Action Steps

Use the tools listed above with these content research tools and resources as these will help you maximize your content production efficiency.

Resources

References

Return To The Main Tools And Resources Section

Image: Meeting

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Content Editing Tools

Useful time-saving content editing tools and resources to keep the quality of all edited content consistent and error-free.

Content Editing Tools And Resources

These useful content editing tools and resources will help you save time and keep the quality of all edited content consistent and error-free.

Content Editing ToolsDepending on the kind of content you publish, you may need to edit your content regularly to keep the information relevant and up-to-date.

The tools and resources in this section will save you time editing content and hopefully provide your team with content editing guidelines to help maintain consistency and quality in all published content.

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Spell Checking And Grammar

Whether your team is publishing articles and blog posts or creating digital information products like ebooks, reports, or any other kind of written documentation, it’s important to make sure that your content is free of grammatical errors and misspellings.

Here are some tools that can help to improve your content:

Grammarly

Content Editing Tools - Grammarly
Grammarly – Free grammar-checking software

Grammarly is a FREE grammar checking tool that helps to improve your content writing by correcting grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes while also catching contextual errors, improving your vocabulary, and suggesting style improvements.

Grammarly analyzes your work, spell-checks it, and offers suggestions on how to improve sentence structure.

The software’s online grammar-checking algorithms have been developed and are regularly maintained by linguistic technology experts.

You can use this software to check your articles, blog posts, reports, e-books, or any kind of written documentation.

How To Use Grammarly

You can install Grammarly on your web browser, on a word-processing application like Microsoft Word, or on your desktop.

Install Grammarly on your web browser
Install Grammarly on your web browser.

Once installed, the tool lets you check your content anywhere online, including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and WordPress.

Check your content for errors
Use Grammarly to check your content for errors.

If you are writing a post, for example, you can run your post or article through Grammarly before publishing to make sure that your content has no errors.

Check your posts for errors before publishing.
Check your posts for errors before publishing.

Important

If you don’t see the symbols when checking your content, make sure that you have enabled Grammarly for your site.

Make sure that Grammarly is enabled.
Make sure that Grammarly is enabled.

Note: To use some of the software’s features you need to make sure that you’re logged into your account.

Make sure that you're logged into your account
Make sure that you’re logged into your account and that Grammarly is enabled.

If you can see your Grammarly dashboard, you’re logged in.

Grammarly Dashboard
Grammarly Dashboard

To check your content for errors inside applications like Microsoft Word, make sure that the tool is enabled.

Use Grammarly with MS Word
You can use Grammarly with MS Word.

Grammarly will begin scanning your document for errors. Depending on the size of your document, allow a few minutes for the scan to complete.

Grammarly scans your documents for errors
Grammarly scans your documents for errors.

After the scan is complete, the tool’s menu bar will display the number and types of errors found in your document.

Grammarly scan results
Grammarly scan results.

A screen opens up next to your content where you can view the critical errors and advanced issues the tool has found after scanning your content.

Grammarly displays the number of issues found in your content
Grammarly displays the number of issues found in your content.

To view and correct issues, click on the error counter and Grammarly will scroll through your content until it finds an issue. You can fix critical issues with the free version of the tool (repairing advanced issues requires upgrading to the premium version).

Grammarly not only catches all of your spelling and grammatical errors, it will also point out errors in your punctuation (e.g. wrong use of commas, double spacing between words, duplicated words, etc.).

Fix punctuation errors
Fix punctuation errors.

Grammarly scans your text for common and complex grammatical mistakes, spanning everything from subject-verb agreement to article use to modifier placement, missing articles, weak adjectives, repeated words, etc.

Delete duplicate words
Delete duplicate words.

Work through your content to fix all mistakes in your sentence structure and style.

Fix mistakes in your sentences
Fix mistakes in your sentences.

As you scroll through each error, Grammarly shows you what’s wrong and gives you the option to automatically fix errors with just one click.

To correct mistakes, just click on the suggestion.

Click on suggestions to correct errors
Click on suggestions to correct errors

You can also ignore the suggestions and keep scrolling through to the next item or scroll back to view previous items.

Ignore suggestions to continue checking for issues
Ignore suggestions to continue checking for issues

The premium version of Grammarly takes your content checking to a whole new level, allowing you to repair advanced content issues, view suggested vocabulary enhancements, detect instances of plagiarism, etc.

As you can see, Grammarly is a powerful and essential tool for content writing.

Once you begin using it to improve your content, you will not want to publish articles or blog posts again without first scanning for grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors.

More info: Grammarly – Free Grammar Checker

Hemingway Editor

Content Editing Tools - Hemingway Editor
Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor is a free tool that checks your writing for technical errors and readability. It is designed to be like a spellchecking tool, but for style. It helps make your writing bold and clear to make sure that your readers focus on your message, not your prose.

The Hemingway Editor highlights in yellow and red where your writing is too dense. Use the tool’s recommendations to remove needless words or split a sentence into two.

The software’s features help you to:

  • Improve your content’s readability
  • Write first drafts free from distractions
  • Strengthen your writing with powerful and more vivid-sounding verbs instead of using weak adverb constructs (e.g. instead of saying that someone is “walking slowly” you can say that they “tip-toed” or they “crept.”)
  • Eliminate complicated words and replace these with simpler words (e.g. replace words like “utilize” with “use”)
  • Change sentences from passive to active voice,
  • Format your content with text-formatting tools (e.g. bold, italicize, bulletize, numberize, turn highlighted text into links, change paragraphs into different heading sizes, etc.)

The desktop version of Hemingway gives you access to updates whenever a new version is released.

More info: Hemingway Editor

Content Style And Formatting

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel and create your own content styles and formatting guides from scratch. You can simply adopt an existing style or format as your own.

Style Guides

Wikipedia Manual of Style (MoS)

Content Editing Tools - Wikipedia Manual of Style
Wikipedia Manual of Style

Wikipedia uses this style manual for all of its English articles.

If you are looking for a style guide, this is a very useful resource and covers everything from article titles, sections, and headings, to capitalization, formatting content, grammar, and usage, etc.

More info: Wikipedia Manual of Style

The Associated Press Stylebook

Content Editing Tools - The Associated Press Stylebook
The AP Stylebook

This is another excellent style guide used as a writing and editing reference in newsrooms, classrooms, and corporate offices worldwide.

Its specialized chapters cover guidance for writing about people with disabilities, sports, business, data journalism, digital security, health and science, news values, polls and surveys, inclusive storytelling, religion, social media, and more.

More info: The Associated Press Stylebook

Chicago Manual Of Style

The Chicago Manual Of Style Online
The Chicago Manual Of Style Online

The Chicago Manual Of Style (CMOS) has evolved over more than one hundred years from a style sheet created by the University of Chicago Press to a pamphlet circulated throughout the University, to a book containing a compilation of typographical rules, to its modern version… an authoritative reference work for authors, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers, with more than a thousand pages in print and more than two thousand hyperlinked paragraphs online.

The CMOS is regarded by many as the industry leader in style matters and provides up-to-date recommendations for the digital age on electronic workflow and best practices in electronic manuscript preparation and editing.

More info: The Chicago Manual Of Style

Yahoo! Style Guide

Yahoo! Style Guide
Yahoo! Style Guide

The Yahoo! Style Guide is a style guide focused on writing content for the web.

This is a useful guide for freelance and content writers and includes useful advice on optimizing your content for search engines.

More info: The Yahoo! Style Guide

Formatting Tools

Here are some useful tools that can help take the guesswork out of formatting your content:

TitleCase.com

Content Editing Tools - TitleCase.com
TitleCase.com

TitleCase is a free online tool that lets you convert post and article titles into different cases.

You can select a case from the Convertors menu…

TitleCase convertors.
Select different TitleCase convertors.

Or simply type or paste in your post title and click on the Convert button.

TitleCase.com - Enter Text field
TitleCase.com – Enter Text field.

TitleCase converts your title into different cases and displays the results. Browse through the different options and copy and paste them into your content.

TitleCase.com - Results
TitleCase.com converts your sentences into different cases.

More info: TitleCase

Word Counters

Knowing the word count of your content can be important. For example, you may need to create a piece of content (e.g. an article, essay, whitepaper, eBook, etc.) with a minimum or a maximum number of words.

There are many online word counters you can use to get statistics about your content like the number of words, number of characters, check grammar, etc.

Here’s a great tool you can use to get text statistics:

WordCounter

WordCounter.net
WordCounter.net

WordCounter is an online editor that can do more than just counting words and characters. It can help you to improve word choice and writing style, and, optionally, help you to detect grammar mistakes and plagiarism.

To check word count, place your cursor into the text box above and start typing. The tool will display the number of characters and words and increase or decrease these as you type, delete, and edit them.

You can also copy and paste text from another program into the online editor. The Auto-Save feature makes sure you won’t lose any changes while editing, even if you leave the site and come back later.

WordCounter helps to ensure that your word count reaches a specific requirement or stays within a certain limit.

In addition, WordCounter shows you the top 10 keywords and keyword density of the article you’re writing. This lets you know which keywords you use, how often, and in which percentages, preventing you from overusing certain words or word combinations and checking for the best distribution of keywords in your writing.

The “Details Overview” lets you see the average speaking and reading time for your text, while “Reading Level” is an indicator of the education level that your readers would need to understand the words in your content.

More info: WordCounter

Google Docs

Google Docs
Google Docs

Google Docs is a great tool for editing content collaboratively.

With Google Docs, you can share your drafts with other team members and have them edit the content directly or add suggestions that you can then accept or reject.

Additionally, Google Docs provides tools that let you see your content’s word count and the number of characters.

Google Docs - Word Count Tool
Use Google Docs’s Word count feature to calculate your text statistics.

More info: Google Docs

Media Conversion Tools

For tools that let you convert content into different media formats (e.g. videos into GIFs), see this section: Media Editing Tools

Video Courses For Beginners – Content Editing

The video courses below cover basic areas of content editing and are ideal for beginners (note: you can access all of the video courses below with a single all-access pass):

Text-To-Speech - WPMasterclasses.comText-To-Speech

In this practical step-by-step video course, you will learn how to use text-to-speech and the latest AI voice technologies to create professional and realistic-sounding voice narrations from text files for a wide range of commercial uses and business applications.

More info: Text-To-Speech

WordPress Gutenberg - WPMasterclasses.comWordPress Gutenberg

Learn how to use the WordPress Gutenberg editor with this video course.

More info: WordPress Gutenberg

How To Use CSS - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Use CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) allows you to control how web pages and page elements display on your screen. This video course shows you how to use CSS.

More info: How To Use CSS

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For more video courses, see this section: Digital Business Video Courses

Summary

Editing content can be time-consuming. The right tools and resources can help your team save time editing content and ensure that the quality of all published content remains consistent and error-free.

Action Steps

Help your team become familiar with these content editing tools and resources and make sure to implement standard guidelines for consistency in your content documentation.

Resources

  • Avoiding Widows and Orphans – ‘Widows’ and ‘orphans’ are terms used to describe unwanted stray words in typography. This tutorial explains ways to fix and deal with these issues.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts – See this section for ALT code keyboard shortcuts for adding international characters and symbols to content.
  • Content Troubleshooting Guide – Use this guide to troubleshoot content-related issues.
  • Digital Business Video Courses – Video courses to help you develop the digital skills you need to manage content effectively.
  • WordPress User Manual – A detailed and comprehensive step-by-step WordPress user manual for non-technical website users.

References

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Return To The Main Tools And Resources Section

Image: Woman with Macbook

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Search Optimization Tools

Optimize your content for SEO and improve your content marketing results with these search optimization tools and resources.

Search Engine Optimization Tools And Resources

Optimize your content for SEO and improve your content marketing results with these search optimization tools and resources.

Search Optimization Tools

Search optimization tools and services can help you research your competitors, discover new content opportunities, find traffic-driving keywords, create content optimized for search engines, build quality backlinks, and improve your content marketing results.

This section lists useful search optimization tools and services that will save you time doing SEO research for content planning and content promotion and running content audits.

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Google Analytics

Search Optimization Tools: Google Analytics
Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful free tool that lets you understand how well your content is performing across all devices and platforms.

Use Google Analytics to help you:

  • Formulate your content audit and your content marketing strategy.  Use the tool’s information to gain insights about visitor behavior on your site: who is visiting your website, how they have found you, where they are coming from, which pages they are visiting, how long they stay engaged with your content, etc.
  • Find your best-performing content in terms of traffic, engagement, and conversion rates.
  • Estimate how effective your content has been in achieving your marketing and business goals.

For example, to view a general breakdown of traffic by organic, direct, referral, and social channels, go to Reports > Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

Search Optimization Tools: Google Analytics Reports - Acquisition Channels
Use Google Analytics Reports to view a breakdown of all your traffic channels.

To identify the social traffic networks where users are engaging with your content, go to Reports > Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals…

Google Analyics - Social Traffic
Learning how to use Google Analytics can provide you with valuable insights to help you create better content targeted to audiences on different channels.

Other useful insights you can gain from Google Analytics could be:

  • Patterns derived from your visitors’ behavior, such as finding out which are your most popular blog articles in a specific country read by visitors belonging to a certain demographic profile
  • Comparing referred visits across different content items to help you decide what should be your next content project.
  • Which content is sending you the most traffic from offsite campaigns using custom URLs with UTM parameters.

As you can see, Google Analytics is a powerful, comprehensive, and useful tool. We recommend taking some courses to get a better understanding of how to get valuable insights using this tool.

More info: Google Analytics

Google Search Console

Search Optimization Tools: Google Search Console
Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another powerful tool from Google that can help you understand how your website is performing on Google Search, and what you can do to improve your search results to bring more relevant traffic to your website.

Google’s Search Console provides information on how Google crawls, indexes, and serves websites. This can help you monitor and optimize your site’s search performance.

Google Search Console Dashboard
Use Google’s Search Console information to help you monitor and optimize your site’s search performance.

Using the URL Inspection tool within Search Console allows you to submit recently updated web pages to Google’s index and view the status of your site’s pages.

Google Search Console - URL Inspection tool
Use Google Search Console’s URL Inspection tool to get new pages of your website indexed.

And submitting sitemaps and RSS feeds helps Google crawl your site and index your content.

Google Search Console - Sitemaps
Adding sitemaps to Google helps Google discover your site’s pages and index your content.

We cover using sitemaps in this section of the course. Also, if your site uses WordPress, check out the WordPress SEO plugins section for plugins that can automate Google indexing of your content using sitemaps.

To learn how to use Google’s Search Console to better understand how your website is performing on Google Search and ways to improve your search performance to drive more relevant traffic to your business, go here: Search Console User Guide & Training

More info: Google Search Console

Bing Webmaster Tools

Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools
Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools

Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools provides site performance data and free SEO tools that help you explore your site, analyze backlinks, manage keywords, and gain insights to improve your page rankings on Bing search results.

Bing Webmaster Tools - Search Performance
Track your site’s search performance on Bing.

For more information on how to use this tool, check out Bing Webmaster Tools Help Center.

More info: Microsoft Bing Webmaster Tools

Ahrefs

Ahrefs
Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a popular SEO service that includes tools to help you get higher search engine rankings.

These tools include link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking, and site audits.

Ahrefs dashboard
Ahrefs provides valuable tools for SEO research and insights on ways to improve our content for better results.

For an overview of this tool, see Backlinko’s Ahrefs: The Definitive Guide.

To learn more about Ahrefs, visit their help center, academy, or website.

HubSpot

HubSpot
HubSpot

HubSpot develops and markets software products for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service and provides tools for social media marketing, content management, web analytics, landing pages, customer support, and search engine optimization.

Essentially, HubSpot brings everything you need to create engaging content targeted to your audience and grow your business into one tool.

The video below provides an overview of HubSpot:

More info: HubSpot

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is an all-in-one content marketing tool designed to help you develop a more effective content strategy.

BuzzSumo provides access to comprehensive and data-driven content research by analyzing billions of data points to help you:

  • Find the best performing content that will help you get more likes, links, and shares
  • Identify influencers that can help your brand or campaign, and
  • Track comments and trends on social media so you can respond faster and capitalize on opportunities.

You can use BuzzSumo to do things like:

  • Research the top-performing content on the web
  • Find the top performing videos on YouTube
  • Analyze your and your competitors’ Facebook pages
  • Find backlinks for any URL or domain
BuzzSumo Content Analyzer
Use BuzzSumo tools like the Content Analyzer to research the top-performing content on the web.

More info: BuzzSumo

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a website crawler. It crawls your website, collects URLs from your sitemap, categorizes it for you, and generates the information you need to perform an SEO audit, from page URLs and page titles to on-page SEO insights.

Screaming Frog - URL scan results screen
Scan your site’s URLs with Screaming Frog.

Screaming Frog can audit up to 500 links for free and provides a ton of SEO-based analysis about how to improve your website’s SEO. You can plug in your Google Analytics to extract page performance data and export everything to a spreadsheet.

More info: Screaming Frog

URLProfiler

URLProfiler
URLProfiler

URLProfiler lets you audit links, content, and social data.

You can integrate Google Analytics data into your profiles, do a full link audit, and build a complete and comprehensive content inventory for your website.

The video below shows you how to create a content inventory of your site using URLProfiler:

More info: URLProfiler

Dr Link Check

Dr Link Check
Dr Link Check

Dr Link Check is a tool that lets you easily find broken and malicious links on your site.

Simply enter a URL and the tool’s bots will automatically crawl through the HTML and CSS code of your entire website and examine all the links it can find, including internal page links and outbound links to other websites, as well as links to images, style sheets, and other resource files.

Dr. Link Check - Link scan
Enter a URL and Dr. Link Check automatically checks your site for broken and malicious links.

The tool performs checks like:

  • Broken link checks – Check links for validity and follow them to make sure the server is reachable and the link target still exists.
  • Blacklist checks – Check links against blacklists of known phishing and malware sites that may harm visitors.
  • Soft error checks – Check the content of linked pages for issues such as error or placeholder messages, even if the server responded with “200 OK” and didn’t indicate any problems.
  • SSL certificate checks – Check if SSL certificates are issued by trusted certificate authorities, have not expired, and are valid for the current hostname.

Once the scan is done, you can view the results on the web page…

Dr. Link Check - Link scan results
Dr. Link Check scan results.

Or export these to CSV or PDF.

Dr. Link Check - Export Link scan results
Export scan results to CSV or PDF.

The tool’s free version will scan a maximum of 1,500 links on your site.

Note: Every unique HTML document, image, style sheet, script, or other resource referenced from your website counts as a link (resources linked from multiple pages still only count as one link).

Paid subscriptions are available that allow you to scan more links, analyze blacklisted links, view soft errors, schedule automatic scans and notify you of results via email, and more.

More info: Dr Link Check

Majestic

Majestic
Majestic

Majestic is a tool that analyzes billions of URLs a day and provides accurate data to help you understand your and your competitors’ link profile and develop a Search Engine positioning strategy.

As stated on their website,

“Majestic surveys and maps the Internet and has created the largest commercial Link Intelligence database in the world.

This Internet map is used by SEOs, New Media Specialists, Affiliate Managers and online Marketing experts for a variety of uses surrounding online prominence including Link Building, Reputation Management, Website Traffic development, Competitor analysis and News Monitoring. “

Majestic maintains two huge indexes from which it extracts its data: a Fresh Index and a Historic database with records going back to 2006, providing a database with the world’s most complete backlink profile.

Majestic indexes
Majestic maintains a huge database of Internet data.

Majestic lets you extract information and perform tasks like:

  • The best websites in your industry or niche
  • Track your favorite sites
  • Find links near you and your competitors
  • Check out top backlinks for any website
  • Filter by topic, quality, language, and a range of industry-standard metrics
  • Compare top-level metrics for websites and URLs
  • Discover link opportunities by looking at your competitor’s websites
  • Look for mutual links between any two websites
Majestic tools
Use Majestic’s web-based link investigation tool to gain valuable SEO insights.

More info: Majestic

SemRush

SemRush
SemRush

SemRush provides a suite of SEO tools that lets you uncover millions of keywords, analyze any domain’s backlinking profile, run SEO audits, and track your SERP positions daily.

You can enter a domain URL and receive a robust audit with a customized report that shows you where you can make improvements to your site.

Adding your analytics tool account allows SemRush to provide more information (e.g. which posts your audience engages with the most) and help you identify which content performs well for your audience to create a more targeted content strategy.

Visit the website: SemRush

WooRank

WooRank
WooRank

WooRank is a useful content auditing tool. With tools like SEO monitoring and Site Crawler, WooRank lets you know how your landing pages are performing, how any disruptions to your website have affected your SEO, and how Google sees your site and interprets the information for search engines.

Visit the site: WooRank

SerpRobot

SerpRobot
SerpRobot

SerpRobot is an accurate SERP checking tool that lets you check keyword positions in real-time, on any location, and across multiple devices.

More info: SerpRobot

DynoMapper

Search Optimization Tools - DynoMapper
DynoMapper

DynoMapper is a website discovery, planning, and optimization tool that lets you organize your website projects using visual sitemaps, content inventory, content audit, content planning, daily keyword tracking, and website accessibility testing.

Dynomapper's Visual Sitemap Generator
Dynomapper’s Visual Sitemap Generator

With DynoMapper, you can:

  • Create an inventory of your website’s pages, images, documents, videos, audio, and files, use the content audit tool to optimize your assets and plan content tasks using the content calendar tool.
  • Add your Google Analytics details to display analytic metrics, and sort and filter pages in your visual sitemap, which can be exported to PDF or CSV.
  • Automatically import keywords from a domain and receive daily keyword tracking reports by location or device about your rankings on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  • Use the website accessibility testing tool to scan your entire website for WCAG / Section 508 compliance, and identify known errors in web design and content for ADA Website Compliance.

More info: DynoMapper

UserTesting

UserTesting
UserTesting

UserTesting is a platform that helps you gain insights and feedback about your site’s usability and the quality of your content from real human users.

You can then use this feedback to improve your content’s SEO.

Visit the website: UserTesting.com

Keyword Tools

Identifying keyword opportunities that can help boost your search results and drive more targeted traffic to your website is an important aspect of creating an effective content plan.

Here are some keyword research tools you can use to build a list of keywords and keyword phrases for your content strategy:

Google Keyword Planner

Search Optimization Tools - Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is the keyword search and ad planning tool from Google Ads that helps advertisers find keywords for ad targeting.

Google’s Keyword Planner lets you find keyword ideas, search volumes, Google Ads competition, and cost-per-click (CPC) data for search terms.

To use the Google Keyword Planner tool, you need to create a Google Ads account (see this tutorial if you need help setting up a Google account).

More info: Google Keyword Planner

Google Trends

Search Optimization Tools - Google Trends
Google Trends

Google Trends is a free tool from Google that lets you perform keyword popularity comparisons in a given country or region for up to 5 different keywords and see how interest in those keyword searches has changed over time.

For example, the Google Trends graph below shows you the relative popularity of worldwide searches for “ground coffee” versus “whole bean coffee” over the past twelve months.

Google Trends - Comparison Chart
Use Google trends to compare keyword searches over a period of time.

For additional information about Google Trends, see the Content Research Tools lesson.

More info: Google Trends

Google Autocomplete

Google Autocomplete
Google brings up related keywords in the autocomplete tool.

Google’s Autocomplete tool (Formerly known as Google Suggest) is a prominent feature of Google search.

When a user enters a search term into Google, its sophisticated algorithm suggests search queries it thinks best matches the entered term’s intention and displays suggested keywords under the search box.

Clicking on any keyword from Google’s autofill list loads the search results page for that user.

KeywordTool

Search Optimization Tools - KeywordTool
KeywordTool

KeywordTool is a free tool that helps you understand what people are searching for online.

It gets keywords from different search engines (e.g. Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, App Store, Play Store, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and others) and shows you keywords, products, and hashtags searched on various search engines in different countries around the world from their autocomplete data.

KeywordTool - Keyword suggestions
Use KeywordTool to build a list of keywords extracted from many different autocomplete search engines and platforms worldwide.

The free version of Keyword Tool can generate up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term from Google autocomplete in seconds.

The paid version provides advanced features and additional data like search volume data, cost-per-click data, Google Ads competition data, competitor, keyword analysis, bulk search volume analysis, and twice as many keyword results on average than the free tool version.

Use this tool to quickly find and analyze thousands of relevant long-tail keywords for content creation, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, or other marketing activities.

More info: KeywordTool

tip

For additional information, see this tutorial: How To Research Keywords For SEO Content

WordPress SEO Plugins

If your site runs on the WordPress platform, there are many WordPress SEO Plugins you can use to optimize your content for search engines, automate and speed up search engine notifications, and help search engines (and users) find and index more of your site’s content.

Visit the WordPress SEO Plugins section for more details.

Video Courses For Beginners – SEO

The video courses below cover basic areas of search engine optimization and are ideal for beginners (note: you can access all of the video courses below with a single all-access pass):

Keyword Research - WPMasterclasses.comKeyword Research Tools

Learn how to do keyword research using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner.

More info: Keyword Research Tools

Google Tools - WPMasterclasses.comGoogle Tools

Learn how to use Google Tools like Google Analytics & Gmail.

More info: Google Tools

WordPress SEOWordPress SEO - WPMasterclasses.com

Learn how to optimize your WordPress site and how to craft website pages and blog posts that will help you get better search engine rankings and improve your traffic results.

More info: WordPress SEO

How To Optimize WordPress - WPMasterclasses.comHow To Optimize WordPress

Learn how to optimize your WordPress site and improve your page loading speed.

More info: How To Optimize WordPress

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For more video courses, see this section: Digital Business Video Courses

Summary

There are many search optimization tools and resources that can help to improve your SEO. This lesson lists a number of useful SEO tools and resources that can help to improve your results.

Action Steps

Research and try some of the above tools and services to find the right tools for your content strategy and setup.

Resources

References

Return To The Main Tools And Resources Section

Image: Google Laptop

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WordPress Content Plugins

These WordPress plugins will save you time planning, creating, and managing content.

WordPress Content Plugins

These WordPress plugins will save you time planning, creating, and managing content.

WordPress Content PluginsThere are many WordPress plugins you can use to help you plan, organize, curate, protect, and even create content for your site.

This section provides examples of various plugins that will help you do this.

Refer to the WordPress User Manual if you need help installing, activating, updating, or deleting plugins in WordPress, and ALWAYS make a full backup of your website’s files and database before making any changes to your site.

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Legal Information Plugins

Your website needs to comply with many laws and regulations and there are a number of legal pages that you should add to your site.

You can add these manually, or use a plugin like the one shown below.

WP Legal Pages

WP Legal Pages
WP Legal Pages

WP Legal Pages automatically generates 25+ legal policy templates for your website.

Simply add your business details and the plugin will quickly create the following pages:

  • GDPR Privacy Policy
  • GDPR Cookie Policy
  • Terms of Service
  • Terms & Conditions
  • CCPA (California Consumers Privacy Act)
  • Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
  • Privacy Policy Wizards
  • Linking Policy
  • Blog Comments Policy
  • Affiliate Agreement
  • Affiliate Marketing Disclosures
  • External Links Policy
  • DoubleClick DART Cookie Policy
  • Returns & Refunds
  • Digital Goods Refunds
  • Anti Spam Policy (CASL Compliant)
  • Privacy Policy for Facebook Apps
  • Earnings Disclaimer
  • Medical Disclaimers
  • General Disclaimers
  • FTC Disclaimer Widgets
  • FTC Testimonials Disclosure
  • California Privacy Rights Policy
  • DMCA Policy
  • Children’s Online Privacy Policy (COPPA)
  • Newsletter Subscription Policy
  • Refund Policy
  • FTC Disclosure Statement
  • Impressum

Watch the video below for an overview of the plugin:

More info: WP Legal Pages

Additionally, see this tutorial: How To Add Legal Pages to Your WordPress Site

Content Generation Plugins

There are a number of tools and plugins that can help to speed up your content creation process, as the examples below show.

warning

We recommend using plugins like the ones listed below as tools to aid in your content research and content creation, not as content generators per se.

Search engines like Google reward quality content designed to add value to humans, not content aimed at search bots, so keep this in mind when using tools like the ones listed below.

MyCurator

WordPress Content Plugins - My Curator
My Curator

MyCurator is a content curation plugin for WordPress that can help to speed up your content research by showing you relevant articles related to your topic using AI technology.

You can train the plugin to deliver more reliable information in its results using upvoting and downvoting features.

My Curator - Content Curation plugin for WordPress.
Train MyCurator to deliver better results using up or down vote buttons.

The plugin lets you curate articles in your WordPress Editor
and adds an excerpt, image, and attribution.

You can curate content for topics for free, but accessing its cloud services requires an API Key. Low-priced monthly plans (with a free 30-day trial) are available for users that want to curate content on lots of different topics or multiple sites.

The video below provides more information about this plugin:

There are also a number of training videos available on how to use this plugin.

More info: MyCurator

Learn more about content curation here: Content Writing Tools

Watsonfinds

Watsonfinds
Watsonfinds

Watsonfinds analyzes your content and provides insights about how your audience may respond emotionally as they read it.

The plugin displays a popup when you analyze your content with insights divided into 5 different emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear).

You can then modify the words used in your content to match your message with how you would like your audience to respond.

The video below explains how the plugin works:

More info: Whatsonfinds

WPRobot

WPRobot
WPRobotWPRobot – Autoblogging plugin for WordPress

WP Robot is a popular autoblogging plugin for WordPress.

This plugin allows you to drip-feed content to your site on auto-pilot at regular intervals that you specify. Your posts will then be targeted to any keyword you select and in any topic you choose.

You can autopost articles from over 20 content providers and specify which modules you want to autopost content from, run multiple posting campaigns using a different template for each campaign, run, copy, and pause individual campaigns, and much more.

More info: WP Robot

Content Organization Plugins

PublishPress Series

Organize Series

PublishPress Series is a plugin that lets you organize multiple posts on the same topic or time periods into issues or series.

This plugin is ideal for sites that want to publish content in the style of magazines or newspapers, as well as short-story writers, teachers, comic artists, etc.

For example, you can:

  • Turn posts into monthly issues for a magazine.
  • Group together newspaper articles on the same topic.
  • Organize chapters into a story.

You can easily add a post that you are writing to an existing series, or start a new series. You can also add a new post into the middle of an existing series, and the plugin will adjust the order, and filter the post list by series to see all the posts you’ve already added to the series.

The free version of the plugin lets you display options for your series information, supports advanced layouts, provides widgets and blocks, and allows you to quickly manage all posts linked to a series. You can re-order, schedule, publish, and unpublish all the posts in a series.

The paid version of this plugin supports custom post types, multiple series, shortcodes, and extra features, such as allowing you to add multiple authors and guest authors to WordPress posts, manage user roles, permissions, and capabilities (e.g. moderation, revisions, etc.), group content together into a series, and more.

More info: PublishPress Series

Content Protection Plugins

If you want to protect your content from being copied or stolen, there are WordPress plugins you can use to help protect your site from content theft.

WP Content Copy Protection

WP Content Copy Protection Pro
WP Content Copy Protection Pro

WP Content Copy Protection is a free plugin for WordPress that uses various methods to protect your online content from being stolen by mouse, keyboard, and browser content-copying methods like right-clicking and saving images, highlighting and copying text, source code viewing, and common keyboard copy shortcut keys.

The premium version of the plugin provides everything included in the free version, plus advanced content protection features for WooCommerce-powered eCommerce sites, the ability to exclude specific pages, posts, or categories from being protected, enabling or disabling protection for site admins only, or registered users only, or admin and registered/logged-in users, advanced image protection, feed removal, extended keyboard copy protection commands, and more.

The plugin will not affect your SEO, embeddable codes, or advertising (e.g. Adsense).

More info: WP Content Copy Protection Free | WP Content Copy Protection Pro

For additional content protection plugins, see this article: How To Prevent Content Theft In WordPress 

Anti-Spam Plugins

Spam adds unwanted content to your site (e.g. comment spam) which can have a negative impact on your visitors and search engines.

WordPress has a number of plugins that can help you combat and prevent spam.

Akismet

Akismet
Akismet Spam Protection plugin

Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if these look like spam or not and lets you review any spam it catches under your site’s Comments admin screen.

The Akismet servers monitor millions of blogs and forums, watching the methods and tricks used by spammers in real-time.

When spambots, comment factories, buffer sites, and social engineering tricks are identified, Akismet uses this knowledge to try and prevent automated or human spammers from trying to place a spam comment on your site.

Akismet was developed by Automattic, a company founded by the creator of WordPress itself, Matt Mullenweg, and has proven to be very effective in fighting SPAM. Millions of WordPress users have Akismet installed on their sites.

More info: Akismet

For more anti-spam plugins, go here: WordPress AntiSpam Plugin

Related Content Plugins

One way to keep visitors longer on your site is to let them know that your site provides other content related to the topics they are interested in.

With WordPress, you can automatically provide links to related content on your site using a plugin like the one below.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)

YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) is a simple and easy-to-use plugin that inserts related post links at the end of each of your site’s posts, pages, and custom post types intelligently and automatically.

As discussed in the WordPress CMS Plugins lesson, YARPP works with related posts, pages, and custom post types. It also provides a templating system that lets you choose how your related posts are displayed.

YARPP finds related content across your site using a customizable algorithm that takes into account elements such as post titles, content, tags, categories, and custom taxonomies, then caches the related posts data as pages on your site are visited, helping to improve overall site performance.

More info: YARPP

Learn How To Add Related Posts In WordPress

info

The above is just a small sample of plugins you can use to save time creating content with the WordPress CMS.

If you need help using WordPress, see the resources below:

  • WordPress Training Manual – A detailed and comprehensive step-by-step WordPress user manual for non-technical website users (non-coders).
  • WPMU DEV Blog – Hundreds of WordPress tutorials for advanced WordPress users.

tip

Make sure to subscribe to our updates to receive our free email course on managing your content effectively, which includes useful information and practical tips on using WordPress as a CMS.

Return to the main WordPress Plugins section.

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Image: Laptop

WordPress Engagement Plugins

These WordPress plugins will help to boost and improve user engagement with your content and your website.

WordPress Engagement Plugins

These WordPress plugins will help to boost and improve user engagement with your content and your website.

WordPress Engagement PluginsThere are many different ways for your visitors to engage with your business through your website.

Most of these ways involve interacting with some form of content on your site, so it’s important to be able to manage this content effectively.

WordPress provides many different kinds of plugins to boost and improve engagement with visitors on your website in areas like:

  • Contact Forms
  • FAQs
  • Knowledgebase
  • HelpDesk
  • Chat
  • Advertising
  • Lead Generation
  • Event Calendars
  • Event Registrations
  • Bookings & Appointments
  • Maps
  • Membership Sites
  • eCommerce
  • Courses
  • Social Sharing
  • Testimonials
  • Company Pages (e.g. Meet The Team)
  • etc.

This section provides examples of various WordPress plugins you can use to improve user engagement with your website in the areas above and manage the content in these areas.

Many of the plugins described below can also be easily configured and added to your site’s pages or content using a shortcode.

Refer to the WordPress User Manual if you need help installing, activating, updating, or deleting plugins in WordPress, and ALWAYS make a full backup of your website’s files and database before making any changes to your site.

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Managing Content On Your Site With WordPress Engagement Plugins

While using plugins can save time and money on web development costs, using plugins to boost and improve user engagement on your site usually requires adding additional content to the plugin and managing it via the plugin itself.

Let’s look at some examples of WordPress engagement plugins and what kind of content you would need to add and manage to boost user engagement effectively.

Forms

Most WordPress form plugins typically forward the sender’s message through to an email address and then store the information on your site’s database.

Using a contact form on your site effectively, then, requires having documentation and processes for areas like:

  • Forwarding the information (i.e. who gets which kind of information, e.g. sales, support, billing, etc.?)
  • Replying to senders (e.g. policies, guidelines, attachments, etc.)
  • Handling stored contact information on your database to make sure that your site complies with all data storage and privacy laws (for example, the GDPR if your site processes information about European citizens).

Here is an example of a WordPress contact form plugin you can use on your site…

Forminator

Forminator is a free custom form builder plugin for WordPress that lets you create and add different kinds of forms to your site like contact forms, opt-in forms, payment forms, and even quizzes and polls.

You can easily set up a professional contact form for your site in just a few clicks.

Forminator contact form setup
Forminator lets you easily set up contact forms. Source: WordPress.org

Forminator adds its own block to the WordPress Block Editor.

Forminator includes a Gutenberg Block
Forminator adds its own block to the WordPress Block Editor. Source: WordPress.org

The plugin integrates with many applications like Zapier, Slack, Trello, Google Sheets, and different email marketing apps.

Forminator - Integrations screen
Forminator has built-in integrations with 1000+ apps. Source: WordPress.org

Use Forminator to create forms that allow users to upload files to your site, collect electronic signatures, etc.

The plugin includes advanced features to help your site stay compliant with GDPR and a form preview button so you can view and adjust your form before embedding it on a page.

Forminator - form example with file uploader.
Forminator lets you create forms that allow users to upload files to your site. Source: WordPress.org

You can also use the plugin to create and add payment forms to your site. Forminator features codeless styling that lets you create the look you want without knowledge of code or CSS, use conditional logic to create dynamic forms, and add calculations and data validation fields to your forms.

Forminator - Free calculations and payment gateways
Add lead-generating calculators to your site with Forminator. Source: WordPress.org

The forms let you accept payments from users with PayPal and Stripe.

Forminator - PayPal and Stripe included.
Accept payments on your site with PayPal and Stripe. Source: WordPress.org

The plugin also lets you submit blog posts from a form and build interactive quizzes and polls.

Forminator - Poll example
Build interactive quizzes and polls to boost user engagement on your site. Source: WordPress.org

You can publish polls that display real-time graphs and stats

Forminator - Polls with real-time graphs and stats
Publish polls with real-time graphs and stats. Source: WordPress.org

To learn more about using this plugin, see this tutorial: How To Get The Most Out Of Using Forminator or watch the video below:

Plugin info: Forminator

To learn about other WordPress contact form plugins, go here: How To Add A Contact Form To WordPress

FAQs

Including FAQs on your site helps visitors and prospective customers get their questions answered and overcome objections before making purchasing decisions.

WordPress FAQ plugins can save you time and resources when providing customer support by allowing you to create a “self-service” help center for a fraction of the resources of hiring a support team to handle customer inquiries.

Many FAQ plugins also make it easier to organize your questions by allowing you to group your FAQs by categories (e.g. for questions about products, ordering, etc.), and place these on a dedicated FAQ page using a shortcode.

Look for FAQs plugins that let you easily add new FAQs and update your FAQ content using a drag-and-drop interface, and build an FAQ section for your website using different categories and customizable styles and colors.

There are many great FAQ plugins for WordPress available.

For example…

Ultimate FAQ

Ultimate FAQ
Ultimate FAQ – WordPress FAQ and Accordion Plugin

Ultimate FAQ is an FAQ and accordion plugin for WordPress that includes easy-to-use Gutenberg blocks, shortcodes, widgets, an advanced FAQ search, and FAQ schema.

Creating and adding different FAQ categories in the plugin is just like using regular post categories.

Ultimate FAQ - FAQ Categories screen
Add FAQ Categories to the plugin just like you would add regular post categories.

FAQs are essentially custom post types, so you can treat each FAQ entry as you would when creating a regular WordPress post

Ultimate FAQ - FAQs screen
Create FAQs and publish these or save them as drafts, just like regular posts.

You can easily view all your FAQs inside your WordPress dashboard using the plugin’s FAQ Summary panel…

Ultimate FAQ - FAQ Summary panel
All the FAQs you have created are listed inside your WordPress dashboard in the FAQ Summary panel.

To display your FAQs to site visitors, simply create a dedicated FAQs page, add the shortcode (or use the FAQ plugin’s block), and publish.

For example, here is a page with the FAQ shortcode inserted…

Edit Page - FAQ Shortcode
Insert a shortcode where you want to display your FAQs…

And this is what your site visitor will see after the page has been published…

Frequently Asked Questions page
A Frequently Asked Questions page listing all the FAQs in their categories.

Additional features of the plugin include the following:

  • Create unlimited FAQs
  • Create unlimited FAQ tags and FAQ categories
  • Add an FAQ block (WordPress Block Editor)
  • Add an FAQ shortcode
  • A responsive accordion layout that works on all sites and devices
  • FAQ page ordering and sorting options
  • Group FAQ options
  • Translation ready
  • Bulk import FAQs from a spreadsheet
  • Style your FAQ page layout

This plugin is user-friendly and includes a guided walk-through wizard that helps you configure the plugin’s settings, create your first FAQs, and create an FAQ page.

Watch the video below for an overview of this plugin:

As you can see, managing your site’s “frequently asked questions” using an FAQ plugin is both time-saving and very effective.

Plugin info: Ultimate FAQ

Tip: See this article for great tips on building an FAQ section on your website.

Customer Support – Knowledgebase, Helpdesk, and Live Chat

Like FAQs, Knowledgebase, Helpdesk, and Live Chat plugins allow you to automate and manage important areas of your business like customer support and help sections for a fraction of what it would cost to hire, train and set up a live support team.

If you plan to add a Knowledgebase, Helpdesk, or Live Chat section to your website to provide customer support, answer user questions, or address their concerns, it’s important to plan and create as much of the content that you will feed into these sections as you can beforehand.

You can use a WordPress plugin like the one shown below to continually add and update support-related content.

ThriveDesk

ThriveDesk
ThriveDesk – Live Chat, Helpdesk & Community for WordPress

ThriveDesk is a light and fast knowledgebase, helpdesk, and live chat plugin for WordPress.

ThriveDesk
ThriveDesk integrates live chat, helpdesk, and a knowledgebase in one streamlined plugin.

The plugin lets you provide timely customer support by integrating live chat, helpdesk, and a knowledgebase into one feature-rich application.

To learn more about all the features and integrations included in this plugin, see the plugin info here: ThriveDesk

Advertising

If you plan to display ads on your website through banners, text ads, or contextual ads (e.g. Google AdSense), then you will need to manage your advertising content effectively, especially if you are promoting content like time-sensitive offers, products of the week, expiring discount codes, etc. on multiple pages or sections of your website.

This means having an organized system for storing and accessing information like:

  • Banner ad images
  • Ad copy and destination URLs
  • Scripts (e.g. Google AdSense publisher code)
  • Details of advertisers, ad inventory, ad schedules, where ads are placed, etc. (e.g. a spreadsheet)

There are many WordPress advertising plugins you can use to display and manage ads on your website.

Here are a couple you can check out…

AdRotate

AdRotate
AdRotate – Ad manager & AdSense Ads

AdRotate is a plugin that lets you easily manage all your advertising campaigns, affiliate banners, text links, etc. from one location.

You can create advertisements using any kind of ad banner or text link, group adverts together, and place them anywhere on your site using shortcodes or  AdRotate’s Post/Page Injection sections.

AdRotate - Post Injection
Use AdRotate’s shortcode or Post/Page Injection sections to add groups of adverts to your site.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to use this plugin, go here: How To Add Rotating Advertising Banners To Your WordPress Site

Plugin info: AdRotate

WP AdCenter

WP AdCenter
WP AdCenter is a complete advertising solution for WordPress sites.

WP AdCenter is another advertising plugin you may want to look at if you plan to monetize your WordPress site with banner advertising.

WP AdCenter is an advanced ad management plugin that lets you:

  • Create and manage different ad zones.
  • Place your own banners anywhere on your site
  • Notify your advertisers after 80% of the campaign is over
  • Export your campaign details as a spreadsheet
  • Rotate banners or place multiple banners in one Ad-Zone
  • Use the same slot to display different ads (without requiring refresh)
  • Automate your income – with PayPal
  • Monetize your WordPress site with affiliate banners, Google AdSense, etc.

The plugin integrates with payment gateways like PayPal and lets you offer advertising spots for sale on your site. Your advertisers can buy available spots and use the plugin’s built-in intelligent reporting features to review AdZone performance and optimize revenue.

Additional features include:

  • Unlimited ad zones.
  • Unlimited banner sizes.
  • Unlimited campaigns.
  • Set automatic start and end campaign dates.
  • Place ad zones into your WordPress theme using shortcodes and widgets.
  • Add media easily.
  • Detailed statistics with downloadable/printable charts.
  • Collect payments automatically.
  • Add different effects to your ads (fadezoom, blindX, blindY, and more).
  • Responsive ads work well on mobile and desktop devices.
  • Display multiple banners per AdZone and multiple ads in a row, column, or grid.
  • Auto-disable expired ads.

See the video below for an overview of the plugin:

Plugin info: WP AdCenter

Lead Generation

After working out your marketing and content promotion strategies for generating new business leads, using content promotion tools with lead generation plugins like the ones listed below will not only make it easier to implement your strategies but also manage their content.

Hustle

Hustle is a versatile free marketing and lead generation plugin that you can use to build a mailing list and convert site traffic on a WordPress site.

The plugin includes opt-in forms, targeted marketing popups, slide-ins, embeds, shortcodes, designer-made form templates, and social sharing capabilities.

Hustle - Animated overview
Hustle lets you create great-looking lead generation pop-ups, slide-ins, and embeds using professionally-designed templates.

You can fully customize the look of your campaigns in the plugin’s settings.

Hustle - Appearance settings
Use Hustle’s built-in appearance settings to customize the look of your campaigns.

You also have complete control over your lead generation forms.

With pop-ups, for example, you can choose the visibility conditions that will display your pop-ups to visitors (e.g. only display the pop-up if visitors land on certain pages or visit posts published under certain categories, or use specific devices/browsers, or are visiting from a specific country, etc.).

Hustle - Conditions screen.
Target your audience with Hustle’s display conditions.

You can also use pre-built layouts, align the position of your images in your selected layouts and more.

Hustle - Appearance settings.
Hustle includes one-click layouts.

Hustle not only lets you easily grow your mailing list and display targeted ads across your site with pop-ups, opt-ins, and slide-ins, but you can also add social sharing widgets to your site so visitors can share your content across different social media platforms.

Hustle - Social Sharing Feature
Quickly build floating social share bars to add to your content.

Additional plugin features include:

  • Fully customizable and mobile responsive layouts with granular control of all form design elements (e.g. adjust images, typography, color, margins, padding, borders, spacing, shadow, module sizing, etc., or use your own custom CSS).
  • Smart triggers for pop-ups and slide-ins (e.g. time on page, scroll, exit intent, and more).
  • Set campaign schedules (e.g. start and end dates, schedule modules to show on specific days of the week, at a certain time of day, choose a custom timezone, etc.)
  • Follow-up emails with manual or automated email messages.
  • Integrations with social media platforms, form builders, email services, etc.
  • Smart exit intent technology (detects when visitors are about to leave your site and displays a pop-up or slide-in to grab their attention).
  • Recaptcha to protect your signup forms from spam.
  • Adblocking detection and override.
  • Intelligent results tracking of individual modules with conversion stats, and insightful charts.

For additional options (e.g. unlimited pop-ups, slide-ins, embeds, and social sharing bars), we recommend upgrading to the Pro version of the plugin.

Watch the video below for an overview of the plugin:

Additionally, see these tutorials to learn how to use the plugin:

Plugin info: Hustle

Post Gopher

Post Gopher
Post Gopher WordPress lead generation plugin

Normally, you would need to create content for your lead magnet AND for the article or post that will promote your lead magnet to your visitors and prospects. What if your articles or blog posts already contain compelling content? Couldn’t you use these as lead magnets?

This is where this clever little WordPress plugin comes in that automatically turns your articles and blog posts into lead magnets, helps you get more free web traffic, and grows your subscriber list … all completely on auto-pilot!

Post Gopher is a WordPress plugin that converts your blog posts and pages into downloadable PDF books. It builds beautiful forms, integrates directly with your autoresponder, captures leads, and sends out download links completely on autopilot.

Post Gopher handles everything on autopilot
Post Gopher handles everything on autopilot

Post Gopher does the following while you focus on creating content:

  1. Automatically converts your blog posts or pages into PDF lead magnets,
  2. Auto-generates lead capture forms that integrate seamlessly with all major autoresponder services,
  3. Sends a customizable email to your new subscribers with the download link to their PDF version of your blog post or article.
  4. Tracks your results with a built-in dashboard that provides details on your most popular posts, conversion rates, and when readers return to your blog using the links inside their PDF file.

After the plugin has been activated and configured, Post Gopher displays a fully customizable lead generation banner on your posts and pages.

Add a lead generation call-to-action banner to your posts.
Add a lead generation call-to-action banner to your posts.

Everything can be customized to suit your preferences, from the text and design of your call-to-action banners to pop-up form colors, text and fields, and even your PDF templates.

You can also specify which posts and pages will display the lead generation banner, where to position it in your content (e.g. top, bottom, top & bottom), and more.

Customize your PDFs
Customize your PDFs

If someone visits your site, decides to download and read your post content later, and clicks on the banner, Post Gopher automatically converts your post or page into a downloadable PDF book or report, adds the user details to your autoresponder, and emails them a link to download the PDF file.

Post Gopher integrates directly with your autoresponder, capturing leads and sending out download links to your new subscribers on autopilot.

Post Gopher automatically adds new readers to your autoresponder
Post Gopher automatically adds new readers to your autoresponder.

The plugin includes built-in statistics reporting for tracking views, clicks, opt-in rates, downloads, and return visitors, and analyzing your best performing lead generation content and most popular blog posts.

Built-in stats panel lets you track and analyze results.
The built-in stats panel lets you track and analyze results.

Post Gopher, then, is an easy “set and forget” tool that passively collects leads, grows your list, boosts user engagement, and helps you get more traffic on autopilot.

If your website or blog provides lots of high-quality content, use this plugin to help you leverage your content creation efforts into growing an engaged subscriber list, increasing your reach, and getting you more dedicated content readers.

Plugin info: Post Gopher

Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads – Lead generation plugin for WordPress.

Thrive Leads is a lead generation plugin for WordPress that combines a list-building solution focused on cutting-edge conversion tactics and conversion optimization.

The plugin combines every kind of opt-in form you need with a simple drag-and-drop design editor designed to help you build a profitable list by showing relevant and highly targeted offers to your visitors based on posts, categories, tags, and more.

Thrive Leads also includes an advanced but easy-to-use A/B testing feature and actionable reporting & insights covering the most important metrics you need to assess how your opt-in forms are performing and where your most valuable traffic is coming from.

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to use this plugin, go here: Thrive-Leads: List-Building Plugin For WordPress

Plugin info: Thrive Leads

Event Calendars

Does your business run or promote events like:

  • Social or community events (e.g. art classes, camps, golf tournaments, church events, etc.)
  • Community events (fundraisers, festivals)
  • Workshops, Seminars, Conferences (physical or virtual)
  • Or any other event?

If so, then plugins like the ones listed below will help you manage your events and all the information associated with running these events.

WP Event Manager

WP Event Manager
WP Event Manager – Event management solution plugin for WordPress.

WP Event Manager is a lightweight and scalable plugin that lets you implement a full-featured event management system for live and virtual events on WordPress.

WP Event Manager: Event Listing - Grid Layout
WP Event Manager lets you display and manage all of your physical and virtual events.

The plugin works out of the box with practically every available WordPress theme saving you time and money on developing custom solutions.

The free version of the plugin has all the core features and functionalities you need to create a robust event management system on your site in a few minutes.

You can also purchase and install a number of premium add-ons that will enhance your event management capabilities by allowing you to do things like:

  • Sell tickets
  • Accept registrations
  • Display an event calendar on your website with upcoming events
  • Add Google Maps
  • Add recurring events
  • Collect information about the attendees at the point of registration
  • Send notifications to event managers
  • Change event colors to match event types and categories
  • And even turn your WordPress website into a live streaming platform for virtual events.
WP Event Manager - Single Event Page
Provide your site visitors with all the information they need to register for your events.

Check out the video below for an overview of the plugin, of go here for a step-by-step tutorial on using this plugin: How To Create An Event Listing Website With WordPress

Plugin info: WP Event Manager

Event Espresso

Event Espresso is another popular event registration and ticketing manager plugin for WordPress.

It can turn your existing WordPress website into a fully-featured event registration and ticketing website that can accept online payments, add custom registration forms and emails, seating limits, multiple price options, discount codes, and printable tickets and event apps on your phone.

For a more detailed article on this plugin, go here: Event Espresso – WordPress Event Management Plugin

Plugin info: Event Espresso

Bookings & Appointments

If your business depends on taking bookings and appointments, you will need to manage a calendar for scheduling your bookings, sending confirmation emails, rescheduling appointments, etc.

All of these processes can be automated using WordPress plugins like the one shown below

Booking Calendar

Booking Calendar
Booking Calendar – WordPress plugin

Booking Calendar is a free booking and reservations plugin that allows you to manage your time more effectively by adding appointment bookings to your site and sending out customized emails automatically.

The plugin works right out of the box. Your visitors can check the availability of your services and book appointments online quickly and easily (and even pay for appointments online) using an intuitive and user-friendly interface.

Booking Calendar - Interface
Booking Calendar lets your site visitors view available times and schedule appointments on your website.

The plugin sends notifications to site administrators and users. You can access information about your bookings and easily manage all of your scheduled bookings and appointments from the plugin’s Booking Listing screen.

Booking Calendar - Booking Listing screen
View and manage all of your bookings and appointments from the plugin’s Booking Listing screen.

The plugin also provides a number of features and screens where you can view detailed information about your bookings and appointments and make changes.

Booking Calendar - Calendar Overview
View detailed information about all of your bookings and appointments.

And you can manually schedule bookings and appointments by entering customer information via the Add booking screen.

Booking Calendar - Add booking screen
Take bookings over the phone or via email and manually enter the information into your calendar.

Booking Calendar is also widget-ready, supports multiple languages, and is also available in a premium version that offers many more features and functionalities.

Watch the video below for an overview of the plugin:

This plugin is suitable for a wide range of business services – medical, dental, health & fitness, repair services, massage therapists, yoga classes, restaurants, making room reservations, event venues, etc.

Plugin info: Booking Calendar

Maps

Adding maps to your site, such as Google Maps, can also help visitors and customers find you more easily, increase local SEO, and allow you to display the location of events.

Google Map
Adding a map to your website helps your customers find you.

Popular Google Maps plugins for WordPress include:

Note: If you plan to add maps to your site, make sure to store the coordinates of your physical location in your documentation.

You can obtain this information by following these instructions: Discover Coordinates Or Search By Latitude And Longitude

For a step-by-step tutorial on adding maps to WordPress, go here: How To Add A Map To WordPress

eCommerce

The WordPress CMS is powerful and flexible enough to transform any website into a full-featured eCommerce store using plugins.

eCommerce stores built on the WordPress platform can range from anything like regular websites offering users the ability to pay for a service online through a payment processor (e.g. PayPal, Stripe, etc.), to running enterprise-sized eCommerce sites selling thousands of products.

Your store content and information are normally managed from the plugin within your WordPress dashboard, although there are many solutions that integrate with WordPress, where your WordPress site serves as the “shop front” for your customers and you manage all the content on your store from your eCommerce solution’s website.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the leading eCommerce plugin for WordPress.

Installing the plugin automatically adds eCommerce capabilities to any WordPress site.

The WooCommerce core platform is free. You can enhance the functionality of your store with hundreds of free and paid extensions from the official WooCommerce Marketplace, and manage your store from anywhere using the free WooCommerce mobile app (Android and iOS).

Being open-source also means that you retain full ownership of your store’s content and data.

More info: WooCommerce 

For more plugins, go here: WordPress eCommerce Plugins: A Comprehensive Guide

Membership Sites

WordPress lets you turn a simple website into a large, professional, and feature-rich membership site containing private content that is accessible only to members using plugins.

There are many membership plugins available for WordPress. While they all perform a similar function (i.e. restrict content access to members only),  most membership plugins will let you set up different membership levels, manage registrations and members, set different access levels to content, and automate actions like content sequencing and delivery (e.g. drip feeding of content with monthly subscriptions).

Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro

Restrict Content Pro is a membership plugin for WordPress that lets you restrict exclusive content for members using a lightweight built-in eCommerce solution.

With the plugin installed, you can create unlimited subscription packages with membership levels (e.g. free, trial, premium, etc.), set up content previews that display an offer for visitors to sign up to access the rest of the content, offer discounts and coupon codes, and much more.

Plugin info: Restrict Content Pro

For more membership plugins, go here: WordPress Membership Plugins: A Comprehensive Guide

Courses

An e-Learning or e-Course site incorporates features found in e-commerce and membership sites with a Learning Management System (LMS).

You can build WordPress sites to promote and deliver one or many e-courses with course grading, quizzes, sequential modules, etc.

LMS WordPress Theme

LMS Online Learning Theme
Run e-Learning Courses with the WordPress LMS Theme

The LMS WordPress Theme lets you build e-courses using any WordPress theme you like.

You can add class courses, timetables, registrations, quizzes, social logins, purchase options, and more.

All course information can be managed within the theme inside your WordPress dashbaord.

More info: LMS WordPress Theme

WP Courseware

WP Courseware
WP Courseware

WP Courseware is a learning management system plugin for WordPress that lets you set up professional training courses and build e-learning products quickly with WordPress.

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on using this plugin, go here: WP Courseware – WordPress eLearning Management Plugin

Plugin info: WP Courseware

Social Sharing

There are many WordPress plugins that can help your business reach a wider audience online and build your social following by sharing your content on social media.

For example, you can use the Hustle plugin mentioned earlier (see above) to add social sharing capabilities to your WordPress site.

Hustle plugin for WordPress - Social Sharing
Social sharing plugins make it easier for visitors to promote your content on their social networks.

The plugin supports all popular platforms and includes features like a social counter, a floating or inline social bar, style settings, visibility conditions, and more.

More info: Hustle

For more social sharing plugins, go here: Social Sharing Plugins For WordPress

Testimonials

Testimonials add powerful social proof content to your site.

Having testimonials on your site, however, also requires an effective system for requesting, collecting, managing, and displaying this content on your site.

Testimonial plugins like the one shown below can help you in all of these areas.

Thrive Ovation – Set & Forget Testimonials

Thrive Ovation - Testimonials Plugin For WordPress
Thrive Ovation – Testimonials Plugin For WordPress

Thrive Ovation is an all-in-one, set-and-forget testimonials management plugin for WordPress.

You can turn comments left on your site into testimonials with one click, leverage the power of social testimonials by integrating with Facebook and Twitter and collect testimonials on auto-pilot.

Thrive Ovation also provides a time-saving testimonial management dashboard, giving you a complete bird’s eye overview of user-submitted, comments, social media, and imported testimonials in one testimonial library that allows you to see testimonials that are ready for display, waiting for approval or review, have been rejected, are missing a photo, etc.

Thrive Ovation - Testimonial Management Dashboard
Thrive Ovation – Testimonial Management Dashboard

Additional plugin features include:

  • Insert testimonials wherever you like using shortcodes.
  • Edit and update testimonials from one location, which then update dynamically throughout your site.
  • A library of fully customizable, professionally designed testimonial templates.

Plugin info: Thrive Ovation

For more plugins and a step-by-step tutorial on adding testimonials to WordPress, go here: How To Add Testimonials To WordPress

Company Pages

There are many plugins you can use to add and manage information about your company and your staff.

Here is an example:

Simple Staff List

Simple Staff List
Simple Staff List

Simple Staff List is a free plugin that lets companies display information about their employees on their website.

The plugin makes it very convenient to manage information about your staff and their profiles. You can add new staff members, edit existing team members’ details, remove profiles from employees who are no longer with the company, and more, all from one central location.

Enter information about your staff into the plugin’s profile fields…

Add New Staff Member settings
Add information about your staff or team members.

After you have entered the information for all staff members and configured other plugin settings, copy and paste the shortcode into a page (e.g. “Meet the Team”) and publish.

Visitors now have a page where they can learn more about your team members.

Example page: Meet Out Team
Your visitors can now learn more about your team on your Staff Profiles page.

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to set up and use this plugin, go here: How To Add A Staff Directory In WordPress

Plugin info: Simple Staff List

Summary

There are many WordPress plugins you can use to help boost user engagement with your content.

We recommend installing some of the plugins listed above and tracking your results to improve your content’s performance and boost user engagement on your site.

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The above is just a small sample of WordPress plugins you can use to improve engagement on your website using the WordPress CMS.

For more plugin tutorials, go here: WordPress Engagement Plugins

If you need help using WordPress, see the resources below:

  • WordPress Training Manual – A detailed and comprehensive step-by-step WordPress user manual for non-technical website users (non-coders).
  • WPMU DEV Blog – Hundreds of WordPress tutorials for advanced WordPress users.

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Make sure to subscribe to our updates to receive our free email course on managing your content effectively, which includes useful information and practical tips on boosting user engagement with your content using WordPress.

Return to the main WordPress Plugins section.

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WordPress Media Plugins

Use these WordPress media plugins to make managing media files on your website easier.

WordPress Media Plugins

Use these WordPress media plugins to make managing media files on your website easier.

WordPress Media PluginsThis section provides examples of various WordPress media plugins you can use to manage files in your content and on your site, like:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Audio Files
  • Documents
  • Embedded Content
  • Downloadable Content
  • Media Stored Remotely

Refer to the WordPress User Manual if you need help installing, activating, updating, or deleting plugins in WordPress, and ALWAYS make a full backup of your website’s files and database before making any changes to your site.

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Media Library Plugins

Media files used in WordPress are typically uploaded to the WordPress Media Library if files are saved on your web server (as opposed to being stored in a cloud service like Amazon S3).

Plugins can extend the functionality of your WordPress media library.

Media Library Folders

Media Library Folders
Media Library Folders

Media Library Folders enhances the functionality of the WordPress Media Library by allowing you to add and build new folders and subfolders to label and organize your media folders and perform operations on these folders and their contents.

Media Library Plus - Dashboard screen
Media Library Folders lets you organize your media files into folders.

The plugin provides an effective way to manage image and video folders when creating WordPress image galleries and albums.

The paid version of the plugin offers enhanced functionality like the ability to organize media using categories, add images to WooCommerce product galleries, offload Media Library items to external cloud storage services like Amazon S3 or DigitalOcean Spaces, and more.

The video below provides an overview of the plugin:

More Info: Media Library Folders

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For a step-by-step tutorial on using the WordPress Media Library and additional Media Library plugins, go here: How To Use The WordPress Media Library

Content Embedding Plugins

WordPress plugins can make embedding media files into your content easier.

EmbedPress

EmbedPress
EmbedPress

EmbedPress lets you easily embed media-rich content like documents, videos, PDFs, audio files, maps, charts, and slides into your WordPress site.

The plugin connects to over 100 services and media platforms and lets you embed content from these services by simply pasting in their URL. It also includes blocks for the WordPress Block Editor.

The premium version of the plugin gives you additional features like enabling lazy loading for loading embedded images on your website faster and adding custom-branded logos for all your video embeds.

Watch the video below for an overview of the plugin:

More info: EmbedPress Free | EmbedPress Premium

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For a step-by-step tutorial on using the blocks to embed content into WordPress, go here: WordPress Embed Block

File Download Plugins

WordPress lets you manage your download files right out of the box but it doesn’t have advanced management features like:

  • Download password protection
  • Tracking file revisions
  • Monitoring/restricting the number of downloads
  • Preventing unregistered users from accessing your files
  • Managing and selling digital downloads
  • etc.

You can easily add these features using file management and download management plugins like the plugin below:

Easy Media Download

Easy Media Download
Easy Media Download

Easy Media Download is a free plugin that makes it easy for users to download digital media files from your website (music, videos, images, etc.). The plugin supports downloadable files in all formats. It creates buttons that begin downloading files immediately when clicked on. Shortcodes allow you to place download buttons anywhere in your content.

Check out the video below to see the plugin in action:

More info: Easy Media Download

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For a step-by-step tutorial on how to add, edit, and manage downloadable files in WordPress and more WordPress download plugins, go here: How To Add Downloadable Files In WordPress

Image Plugins

There are many great WordPress plugins you can use to manage images on your site more effectively, compress and optimize images to make your pages load faster for visitors, add visual effects, styled borders, or frames to images, display images in galleries and slides, etc.

Smush – Image Optimization

Smush - Image Optimization and Compression Plugin For WordPress
Smush – Image Optimization and Compression Plugin For WordPress

Images can take up a lot of storage space on your server and slow down your site.

Smush is a free image compression and image optimization plugin that saves storage space, helps your site load faster and reduces image file size without reducing the quality of your images.

You can compress and optimize images automatically, manually, or in bulk. You can also Super Smush your images, which compress these even further without losing image quality.

Smush image compression and optimization plugin - dashboard screen.
Smush automatically detects and optimizes all of your images.

This plugin is highly recommended for all WordPress sites, and especially for sites that use loads of high-quality images (e.g. photography, design, portfolio sites, etc.)

See this tutorial to learn how to use Smush: How To Get The Most Out Of Smush Image Optimization or watch the video below:

More info: Smush

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery is a user-friendly and feature-rich plugin that lets you add responsive image galleries and albums to your website.

The plugin lets you add image descriptions and tags to gallery images and makes renaming, uploading, removing, and copying images in the galleries you create easier.

Photo Gallery - Gallery Editing screen.
Photo Gallery’s Gallery Editing screen makes it easier to edit images in your galleries.

The plugin also lets you add videos and audios to your galleries, customize gallery layouts, create unlimited responsive gallery and album views, set up and manage multiple widgets, add image watermarking and right-click protection, and more.

The Photo Gallery plugin also provides additional extensions to take its functionality further, making this a great choice for image-heavy websites like photography websites, portfolios, blogs, and any sites that want to feature professional-looking image galleries with easy user navigation.

With the Photo Gallery Premium version of the plugin installed, you can add commenting capabilities with Captcha protection, add a dynamic tag cloud widget with an image tag cloud and text tag cloud options, and set role permission capabilities (i.e. specify who can edit galleries, albums, and images).

The video below provides more information about the plugin:

More info: Photo Gallery (Free) | Photo Gallery (Premium)

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For a step-by-step tutorial on how to add, edit, and manage images in WordPress and more WordPress image plugins and image tools, go here: Using Images In WordPress

Video Plugins

WordPress lets you easily integrate videos into your content. You can add videos to your posts, pages, custom post types…even your sidebar menu using plugins.

Video Player

Video Player WordPress plugin.
Video Player WordPress plugin.

Video Player is a WordPress plugin that lets you manage the entire video player using a friendly interface. You can customize the player look & feel, playlist, and CSS file.

The plugin comes in two versions: Right Side playlist and Bottom Playlist.

Some of the plugin features include:

  • Support for any type of video file that Flash Player supports: FLV/H.264 encoded video: MP4, M4V, M4A, MOV, Mp4v, F4V, YouTube, RTMP (using FMS or RED5), and RTMP live streaming.
  • Ability to play audio MP3 files.
  • Support for Google Analytics
  • You can set this player to any size you want, changing the player width, the player height, and the playlist width.
  • Ability to integrate with your posts and pages using a shortcode

For more details, go here: Video Player

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For a step-by-step tutorial on how to add videos to WordPress and more WordPress video plugins, go here:

Audio Plugins

Just like videos, WordPress also lets you easily integrate audio files into your content.

HTML5 Audio Player

HTML5 Audio Player
HTML5 Audio Player

HTML5 Audio Player is a compact and responsive audio plugin for WordPress that supports .mp3 and .ogg file formats and works on all browsers and devices.

You can add audio files and audio previews to your WordPress posts and pages using a shortcode.

For more info, go here: HTML5 Audio Player

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For a step-by-step tutorial on how to add audio files in WordPress and more WordPress audio plugins, go here: How To Add Audio Files In WordPress

Plugins For Managing Media Stored Remotely

In addition to plugins that will help you better manage media files on your WordPress site, you can also install plugins that integrate 3rd-party media services and platforms with your site and allow you to manage media stored in remote locations (e.g. cloud services like Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.).

S3 Media Maestro

S3 Media Maestro
Use S3 Media Maestro to display content stored on Amazon S3 securely on your WordPress site.

S3 Media Maestro lets you display videos hosted on Amazon S3 on your site, protects your files from unauthorized sharing, and lets you easily manage and deliver media or download files securely using Amazon’s S3 web storage services.

You can easily configure default media player settings for video and audio players like player type, skins, splash images, volume, size, metadata, etc.

S3 Media Maestro - Settings
S3 Media Maestro media player settings.

You can use this plugin to set up online learning and video membership sites. S3Media Maestro prevents paying customers from sharing links to your content with others by creating unique expiring links that will only work for your customers. Anyone else who tries to use the same link to your content will be denied access.

More info: S3 Maestro

Google Drive Embedder

Google Drive Embedder plugin for WordPress.
Google Drive Embedder plugin for WordPress.

Google Drive Embedder lets you add files stored on Google Drive to your content and supports many files.

Use this plugin to:

  • Locate files more easily
  • Centralize your organization’s documents in Google Drive
  • Host post and page file attachments, backed by Google Drive
  • Control employee access (allow non-Google users to view Google Drive files and folders or restrict access by WordPress user roles)
  • Allow drag-and-drop of files into embedded Google Drive folders, and explore folders without leaving WordPress.
  • Display files through embedded viewers, or links to open or download.

More info: Google Drive Embedder

Dropr

Dropr - Dropbox plugin for WordPress
Dropr is a Dropbox plugin for WordPress.

Dropr lets you easily access files from your Dropbox account and add them to your WordPress website.

The plugin essentially turns your Dropbox account into a secondary WordPress Media Library. You can access your Dropbox files from the WordPress text editor screen, then drop files into your content without having to upload them to WordPress, saving you server bandwidth.

The plugin also includes its own block for the WordPress Block Editor.

Dropr Gutenberg Block
Dropr includes its own Block.

More info: Dropr

Summary

There are many plugins available for managing media files on your WordPress site.

We recommend installing some of the plugins listed above and reading the additional tutorials on how to use media in WordPress.

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The above is just a small sample of WordPress plugins you can use to make managing media easier on your WordPress CMS.

For more plugin tutorials, go here: WordPress Media Plugins

If you need help using WordPress, see the resources below:

  • WordPress Training Manual – A detailed and comprehensive step-by-step WordPress user manual for non-technical website users (non-coders).
  • WPMU DEV Blog – Hundreds of WordPress tutorials for advanced WordPress users.

tip

Make sure to subscribe to our updates to receive our free email course on managing your content effectively, which includes useful information and practical tips on using media with WordPress.

Return to the main WordPress Plugins section.

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WordPress SEO Plugins

Use these WordPress SEO plugins to optimize your content for search engines, boost your search rankings, and improve your content marketing results.

WordPress SEO Plugins

Use these WordPress SEO plugins to optimize your content for search engines, boost your search rankings, and improve your content marketing results.

WordPress SEO Plugins

WordPress SEO plugins help to improve your content SEO and provide information to search engines that help them better understand and organize your content for indexing and displaying on search results.

Refer to the WordPress User Manual if you need help installing, activating, updating, or deleting plugins in WordPress, and ALWAYS make a full backup of your website’s files and database before making any changes to your site.

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Website SEO Plugins

The plugins listed below help to optimize your content and will even notify search engines when you publish new content for faster page indexing.

SmartCrawl

WordPress SEO Plugins: SmartCrawl
SmartCrawl – WordPress SEO plugin

SmartCrawl is a free plugin that helps to improve your content’s SEO and search rankings on search engines like Google and Bing with built-in keyword optimization tools, XML sitemaps, meta tags, titles and descriptions, and more.

SmartCrawl features one-click setup, automatic XML sitemaps, improved social sharing, real-time keyword, and content analysis, Schema Types builder, traffic redirection, SEO scans and reports, and integration with 3rd-party tools (e.g. Moz SEO Tools).

You can quickly and easily set up and use SmartCrawl with the plugin’s setup wizard.

WordPress SEO Plugins: SmartCrawl - Quick Setup Wizard.
Use SmartCrawl’s Quick Setup Wizard to quickly install and set up the plugin on your site.

Once installed, you can run a scan of your site’s content…

WordPress SEO Plugins: SmartCrawl SEO Scan
Run an SEO test with SmartCrawl to analyze your content.

After running your scan, go to the plugin’s dashboard to activate various SEO features and begin configuring SEO settings for your site…

WordPress SEO Plugins: SmartCrawl dashboard
Configure all of your site’s SEO features and settings from SmartCrawl’s dashboard.

You can create optimized title and meta descriptions for each post and preview how these will display on Google Search results…

SmartCrawl SEO screen
Preview how your content will display in Google’s search results.

You can also customize post titles, descriptions, and featured images for social shares…

SmartCrawl Social settings
Configure SEO settings for promoting your content on social media.

And configure advanced SEO settings and instructions for displaying your content in search results…

SmartCrawl Advanced settings screen.
Configure advanced SEO settings for your articles.

Smartcrawl also lets you configure Schema markup settings for your website.

SmartCrawl - Schema settings
Configure schema settings for your website with SmartCrawl.

You can also add preset Schema types that include all the properties recommended by Google or add your own custom schema types.

SmartCrawl WordPress SEO Plugin - Add Schema Type screen.
Add schema types to your site to help Google understand and rank your content better.

SmartCrawl is a powerful WordPress search engine optimization plugin that makes your site easier to find and improves your website and content ranking, for free.

Watch the video below for an overview of what the plugin can do to help improve your site’s SEO:

The PRO version of the plugin offers advanced features like reports, automated scanning, automated linking for specific keywords, a crawler that checks for broken URLs, 404 errors, and multiple redirections, plus access to 24/7 support for all things WordPress-related.

More Info: SmartCrawl

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is a popular and widely used WordPress SEO plugin.

The plugin includes many SEO features designed to help site visitors and search engines to better understand your content, like canonical URLs, meta tags, title and meta description templates, XML sitemaps, Schema, SEO and readability analysis tools, Google preview, and more.

WordPress SEO Plugins: Yoast SEO - General Screen - Features Tab
Enable or disable SEO features from the Yoast SEO settings panel.

The premium version of the plugin includes additional features like extensions for news SEO, video SEO, local SEO, and WooCommerce SEO, integrations with other SEO tools and services, blocks for the WordPress Block Editor, and advanced optimization tools.

Info

If your WordPress theme does not support breadcrumb navigation links by default, you may have to edit your theme’s templates and add a snippet of code to display breadcrumbs.

More info: Yoast SEO

IndexNow Plugin

IndexNow Plugin
IndexNow Plugin

IndexNow Plugin is a free plugin for WordPress that enables the automated submission of URLs to multiple search engines without having to register and verify your site.

The plugin automatically generates and hosts an API key on your site and detects when you create, update, or delete a page or post, and notifies search engines to ensure they have the latest updates about your site.

You can also toggle the automatic submission feature, manually submit a URL, view a list of recent URL submissions, retry any failed submissions from the recent submissions list, download recent URL submissions for analysis, and view the status of recent successful and failed submissions.

WordPress SEO Plugins: IndexNow Plugin - Settings
Access all of your URL submission tools and reports in the IndexNow Plugin Settings screen.

More info: IndexNow Plugin

Analytics Plugins

It’s important to track how, when, and where users are visiting your site. This data lets you see where you can make improvements to your site, increase rankings, and drive more web traffic.

BeeHive

Beehive Analytics - Google Analytics Dashboard
Beehive Analytics – Google Analytics Dashboard

Beehive gives you access to powerful data insight from Google Analytics reports inside your WordPress dashboard.

With the Beehive Google Analytics Dashboard plugin installed, you can track visits, page views, bounce rate, average visit duration, and referrers, and enable advanced settings to track your site’s demographic and interest for advertising as well as analyze shopping behaviors to boost your products’ performance.

Beehive Analytics - Bring Google Analytics to your dashboard.
Customize your dashboard view with the stats you need from Google Analytics.

You can also easily track statistics for your entire site or network with the quick setup display.

Once installed, you can use the plugin’s dashboard to see what promotional channels are performing the best and driving the most traffic to your site.

Beehive Analytics Plugin - See what channels perform the best.
Know what channels are sending you the most traffic and performing best on your site.

Set up analytics reports that include information like:

  • Analytics Overview – See all Users and Page Views for the current day, yesterday, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, or across the year.
  • Session Report – See the number of interactions with your website taking place within a specific timeframe.
  • User Report – The total number of users for the requested time period.
  • Pageview Report – Know when a page containing your tracking code is visited.
  • Pages/Sessions Report – The average number of pages visited on your website per session.
  • Average Time on Page Report – See how long visitors are staying on your site.
  • Bounce Rate Report – See how many people leave your website after visiting one page.
  • Top Countries Report – See where your visitors are coming from.
  • Most Visited Page Report – Know what pages are being visited and how long visitors are staying.
  • Trends Report – Monitor trends and improve your content based on user behavior.
  • Referrals Report – See where most of your traffic is coming from and where you should be focusing most of your effort.
  • Medium Report – See how much traffic is coming from direct, email, referrals, social, or organic channels.
  • Search Engines Report – Know which browsers users are visiting your site from and use this information to improve and test your site’s performance across different browsers.
  • Social Networks – Learn which social networks are driving the most traffic to your site.
Beehive Analytics WordPress Analytics Dashboard Plugin - Get traffic insight form top countries and page views.
Beehive analytics lets you see which locations you should be targeting and which pages of your site are performing the best.

Beehive is one of the best free Google Analytics WordPress plugins available and comes packed with additional features to suit all kinds of websites, from blog and small business websites to eCommerce sites and enterprise networks, including:

  • Google Tag Manager integration
  • Built-in display advertising tracking for remarketing campaigns, Google Display Network Impression Reporting, demographic and interest reports
  • Security and GDPR privacy tracking features like Toggle IP Anonymization to anonymize your visitor IPs, stop demographic reports, protect user IDs, and more.
  • Roles and capabilities manager that let you customize reports, set what users have access to, and hide traffic data based on different user permissions.
Beehive Analytics Plugin For WordPress - Compare Statictics both visually and numerically.
Compare your statistics and results over different time frames.

For a tutorial on how to use this plugin, go here: How To Get The Most Out Of Beehive

More Details: Beehive Google Analytics Dashboard plugin

MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights
MonsterInsights – WordPress Analytics Plugin

MonsterInsights is a very popular and widely-used Google Analytics plugin for WordPress.

The plugin provides a website analytics dashboard inside WordPress with real-time stats, reports, and actionable insights.

MonsterInsights Analytics Dashboard.
MonsterInsights Analytics Dashboard.

MonsterInsights includes many features like universal website tracking and Google Analytics 4 setup across multiple devices and campaigns, enhanced eCommerce tracking, page level analytics, tracking for affiliate links, ads, authors, categories, tags, searches, custom post types, users, and other events, GDPR compliance, and seamless tracking integration with many popular WordPress plugins and services.

More info: MonsterInsights

Sitemap Plugins

Site maps help visitors find what they are looking for more quickly and easily on your site and search engines to discover more of your content.

Typically, search engines crawl your site’s content using XML Sitemaps, while visitors use HTML site maps. You can also add news sitemaps, video sitemaps, etc.

There are WordPress plugins you can use to add all kinds of sitemaps to your website.

Tip

To learn more about the differences between an HTML site map and an XML sitemap, what they are used for, and how to add them to your WordPress site, see these tutorials:

XML Sitemaps

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From version 5.5 onward, WordPress has included its own in-built XML sitemaps.

Since XML sitemaps are now a core feature in WordPress and it’s not recommended to have more than one XML sitemap on your site as it may confuse search engines, you could simply use the native WordPress sitemap instead of a plugin.

The native XML sitemap feature of WordPress, however, is very basic and supports only a small set of content types.

SEO plugins like SmartCrawl and Yoast SEO also include XML sitemaps that are more advanced and give you options to decide what goes into that sitemap.

For example, if you noindex a post or page in Yoast SEO, the plugin immediately removes it from your sitemap. Other features of plugin sitemaps include properties like last modified date to help crawlers distinguish between what’s new and what’s old, images, etc.

If you plan to use SmartCrawl or Yoast SEO or have installed either of these SEO plugins, you don’t need to install an additional XML sitemap plugin and can override the native sitemap that ships with WordPress.

With SmartCrawl, for example, you can configure all of your sitemap settings from the plugin’s Sitemaps screen. This includes switching to the native WordPress sitemap (which will disable SmartCrawl’s sitemap), choosing which post types to include in your sitemap, and including/excluding other posts and post types.

SmartCrawl - Sitemaps screen.
SmartCrawl includes a full-featured XML sitemap.

The plugin generates and updates your sitemap when new content is added, changed, or removed, and automatically notifies Google.

Smartcrawl XML sitemap.
An XML sitemap is generated automatically by SmartCrawl.

SmartCrawl also generates a News Sitemap if your site publishes news-related articles and a Multilingual sitemap for each language you have on your site.

If you want to use a standalone plugin to create XML sitemaps, there are a number of sitemap plugins available in the WordPress directory.

For example…

XML Sitemaps

XML Sitemaps
XML Sitemaps

XML Sitemaps is a standalone XML sitemap plugin for WordPress.

The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress-generated pages and custom URLs and notifies all major search engines when you create and publish new content on your site.

More info: XML Sitemaps

Tip

Remember to add your XML sitemap (and RSS feeds) to search engines like Google and Bing via their search consoles. Also, see this section of the Content SEO lesson for more information.

HTML Site Maps

WP Sitemap Page

WP Sitemap Page
WP Sitemap Page

WP Sitemap Page is an HTML site map plugin that automatically generates a sitemap of all your pages and posts using a shortcode.

To see an example of an HTML site map generated by this plugin, visit our own Site Map page.

HTML Site map
We use an HTML Site Map to help site visitors find content on our site.

Note: This plugin does not generate an XML sitemap. It simply allows you to list all of your pages and posts on a single page for human visitors (i.e. not search engine bots) and exclude pages from displaying on your site map.

More info: WP Sitemap Page

Redirection Plugins

Whenever you change or redirect the URL of a post or page on your website to another page or website, it’s a good idea to let search engines know.

Use a WordPress plugin like the one shown below to manage your link redirections and to notify search engines that links have been redirected.

Redirection

Redirection
Redirection

Redirection is a very popular link redirection management plugin for WordPress. Use this plugin to point old, removed, deleted, or trashed posts to new posts on your site or URLs on external sites, easily manage 301 redirections, and keep track of 404 errors.

Simply enter the old URL (i.e. the Source URL) and the new URL (the Target URL), click a button, and the plugin will add the necessary code to your site to inform search engines that the page with your content has moved to a new location.

Redirections plugin screen - Content SEO tool.
Use a plugin like Redirection to let search engines know when you redirect URLs on your site.

Simply enter the old URL (i.e. the Source URL) and the new URL (the Target URL), click a button, and the plugin will add the necessary code to your site to inform search engines that the page with your content has moved to a new location.

For more instructions on using this plugin, see this section of the WordPress CMS Plugins lesson.

Summary

In addition to SEO tools and services, there are a number of WordPress SEO plugins you can use to optimize your content for search engines,  automate and speed up search engine notifications, and help search engines (and users) find and index more of your site’s content.

We recommend installing some of the plugins listed above and tracking your results to improve your content’s performance in the search engines.

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The above is just a small sample of WordPress plugins you can use to improve your content SEO.

For more SEO plugin tutorials, go here: WordPress SEO Plugins

If you need help using WordPress, see the resources below:

  • WordPress Training Manual – A detailed and comprehensive step-by-step WordPress user manual for non-technical website users (non-coders).
  • WPMU DEV Blog – Hundreds of WordPress tutorials for advanced WordPress users.

tip

Make sure to subscribe to our updates to receive our free email course on managing your content effectively, which includes useful information and practical tips on improving your SEO using WordPress.

Return to the main WordPress Plugins section.

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WordPress CMS Plugins

Use these WordPress CMS plugins to help make your Content Management System easier to use and your website easier to manage.

WordPress CMS Plugins

Use these WordPress CMS plugins to help make your Content Management System easier to use and your website easier to manage.

WordPress CMS PluginsWordPress offers many powerful built-in features for managing and organizing your website and its content.

The CMS plugins listed in this section will help to extend and enhance the functionality of these features and make using and managing your CMS easier, more efficient, and more productive, speeding up your content publishing and allowing you to manage different business setups and production workflow requirements.

Refer to the WordPress User Manual if you need help installing, activating, updating, or deleting plugins in WordPress, and ALWAYS make a full backup of your website’s files and database before making any changes to your site.

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Editorial Calendar

WordPress CMS Plugins - Editorial Calendar
Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar makes it easier to see the status of all posts in your blog and when they’ll be published.

From the calendar, you can edit your post titles, post content, and scheduled times, use drag and drop to move posts around and change your post dates, manage post drafts and posts from multiple authors, and a whole lot more.

Check out the video below for an overview of what you can do with this plugin:

More info: Editorial Calendar

EditFlow

WordPress CMS Plugins - EditFlow
EditFlow

EditFlow is a plugin that lets you collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress. The plugin includes a number of useful content management workflow features, such as

  • Calendar – Provides a convenient month-by-month look at your content.
  • Custom Statuses – Lets you define the key stages of your workflow.
  • Editorial Comments – Provides threaded commenting in the admin section for private discussion between writers and editors.
  • Editorial Metadata – Helps you keep track of important details.
  • Notifications – Receive timely updates on content that you’re following.
  • Story Budget – View your upcoming content budget.
  • User Groups – Keep users organized by department or function.

More info: EditFlow

Better Search Replace

WordPress CMS Plugins - Better Search Replace
Better Search Replace

Imagine having loads of published pages on your website and then having to change something in your content that appears throughout your website.

You would either have to go through every page of your website and find every instance of the content you want to change…or you can use a plugin like Better Search Replace.

Better Search Replace is a great time-saving plugin for WordPress that lets you search for text strings (e.g. words, values, dates, sentences, URLs, etc.) throughout your website and replace these quickly and automatically on your site’s database, saving you the hassle of having to manually find and replace every instance.

Better Search Replace - Replacing http with https
An example of using Better Search Replace to quickly update thousands of http links to https.

The plugin is very easy to use and requires no technical skills. After installing the plugin, go to your WordPress admin menu and select Tools > Better Search Replace.

Tools - Better Search Replace
Select Tools > Better Search Replace from your WordPress admin menu.

On the main screen, do the following:

  1. Enter the string or URL to search into the “Search for” field,
  2. Enter the string or URL to be replaced into the “Replace with” field,
  3. Select one, multiple, or all database tables you want the tool to search through using Ctrl-Click (Windows) or Cmd-Click (Mac).
  4. Make sure the “Run as dry run” checkbox is ticked In the Additional Settings section. This enables the tool to make a “dry run” search and replace query without replacing anything in your site’s database (which helps to prevent errors).
  5. Double-check what you have entered into the Search and Replace fields, and click the Run Search/Replace button to begin the process.

In the example below, we decided to change the URL text (called the post slug) in one of our lessons, after creating our course content and adding the old URL link to many pages.

So, instead of manually going through all the course content to find every page on our website pointing to the old URL and changing it to the new URL, we simply used Better Search Replace.

After installing the plugin, we entered the old URL in the “Search for” field, and the new URL in the “Replace with” field, and selected all tables on our database to seach.

Better Search Replace - Main screen.
Enter the text or URL that you want to search and replace.

We then ran a “search and replace” in dry run mode. The tool found 17 instances in our site’s database that needed updating.

Better Search Replace - Dry Run results.
Dry Run results.

We then unticked the “Run as dry run” checkbox to make permanent changes and clicked the button to run the search and replace function again.

Better Search Replace - Run Search/Replace
Run Search/Replace again without the dry run to make your changes.

The tool went through all of the site’s database tables and made the replacements. In our example, 47 database tables were searched and all instances of the old page URL were replaced with the new page URL.

Better Search Replace - Results.
Search and replace completed.

You can view which tables were changed by clicking on the “Click here for more details” link in the results notification.

Better Search Replace - View search/replace details.
View search/replace details.

To view full details about any changes made to your site’s database and access a whole range of advanced features, upgrade to the premium version of the plugin.

Tips:

  • After performing a search/replace, test and check your content to make sure that the replacement has been done correctly. This is especially important if replacing links and URLs in your content.
  • Use Better Search and Replace with a plugin like Broken Link Checker (described below) to avoid broken links when making changes to URLs.

More info: Better Search Replace (Free) | Better Search Replace (Premium)

Broken Link Checker

WordPress CMS Plugins - Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin.

Broken links can affect your site’s SEO and lead to poor user experience. Checking for broken links in your content, therefore, is part of good content management.

Manually checking for broken links, however, can be extremely tedious and completely unnecessary when you can use a plugin instead.

Broken Link Checker is a free WordPress plugin that automatically monitors and tests all of your site’s internal and external links to help you find and fix broken links.

The plugin continually scans and reports broken links, giving you the choice of editing the URL, removing the link, marking “broken” links as working, leaving the link as is, and various other options.

Broken Link Checker - Plugin Screen
Broken Link Checker lets you find and fix broken links on your site.

For a complete step-by-step tutorial on how to use this plugin, go here: How To Detect And Fix Broken Links In WordPress

More info: Broken Link Checker

Redirection

WordPress CMS Plugins - Redirection
Redirection

Redirection is a really popular link redirection management plugin for WordPress.

Use this plugin to point old, removed, deleted, or trashed posts to new posts on your site or URLs on external sites, easily manage 301 redirections, and keep track of 404 errors.

Upon installation and activation, the plugin presents you with a wizard that includes a brief overview of how to use the tool and then guides you through the setup process.

Redirection wizard
Use the Redirection wizard to set up the plugin for optimal performance.

Once the plugin is set up, you can use it to manage unlimited redirections on your site.

Redirection Plugin For WordPress - Main Screen
Manage unlimited redirections with this plugin.

Redirecting outdated links not only helps to improve user experience but also your site ranking, so this is also an essential WordPress SEO plugin.

Adding a redirection is simple:

  1. Click on the Add New button to create a new redirection.
  2. In Source URL enter the URL you want to redirect from.
  3. In Target URL enter the URL you want to redirect to.
  4. Click the Add Redirect button.
Redirextions screen - Add New
Add new redirections in a few clicks.

After adding a new redirection URL, there are various additional functions you can perform, including editing your redirection.

For complete usage instructions, see the plugin’s documentation section.

More info: Redirection

Easy Table of Contents

WordPress CMS Plugins - Easy Table of Contents
Easy Table of Contents

Easy Table of Contents lets you insert an automatically generated table of contents (ToC) into your posts, pages, and custom post types.

You can disable the ToC for specific posts and pages, choose which heading styles will display in the ToC, choose different customization options and settings, and a whole lot more.

Screenshot of a ToC generated by the Easy Table of Contents Generator plugin.
An example of a Table of Contents automatically generated by the plugin.

You can see the plugin at work by clicking on any of the lesson pages of this course.

Example of a Table of Contents generated using the Easy Table of Contents plugin
Visit any lesson page on this site to see a Table of Contents generated automatically using the Easy Table of Contents plugin.

More info: Easy Table of Contents

User Role Editor

WordPress CMS Plugins - User Role Editor
Set up custom roles and capabilities using User Role Editor.

User Role Editor is a powerful free plugin that provides advanced user role management tools for WordPress.

With the plugin installed, you can easily create and edit new roles and manage permissions for all users with just a few clicks and set specific capabilities for each role separately simply by ticking or unticking checkboxes.

User Role Editor plugin screen.
The User Role Editor plugin lets you easily change role capabilities by enabling or disabling checkboxes.

There are many useful things you can do with the User Role Editor plugin, such as allowing or disallowing registered users to upload files to your site or disallowing certain types of users to delete posts they have already published.

You can also customize roles and set permissions and capabilities like removing the ability of authors to publish posts on your site, forcing posts to be submitted for review by an administrator before being approved for publishing, etc.

For a more in-depth tutorial on how to use this plugin, go here: How To Manage WordPress Users

More info: User Role Editor

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)

WordPress CMS Plugins - Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
Add related post your your posts automatically with YARPP.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) lets you automatically display pages, posts, and custom post types related to the post your site visitors are currently reading.

Once installed and activated, the plugin’s algorithm analyzes your site’s post titles, content, tags, categories, and custom taxonomies to find related content on your site and lets you display these on your posts using a range of different placement options, templates, and styles.

Screenshot of Related Posts example.
The plugin automatically generates related posts for your site visitors. Source: YARPP

Showing visitors relevant content from your site can help boost visitor engagement by keeping them longer on your site.

Increasing sessions and pageviews on your site can also help to improve SEO. The plugin also gives you options like displaying related content to visitors who are leaving your site.

An example of YARPP-generated posts displaying to exiting site visitors.
Display related posts to visitors exiting your website. Source: YARPP

More info: Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)

Posts Table with Search & Sort

WordPress CMS Plugins - Posts Table with Search & Sort
List your posts in a table with instant search, sort, and filter with the Posts Table with Search & Sort plugin.

Posts Table with Search & Sort lets you organize posts into sortable and filterable tables, making it easier for users to find the content they want.

Posts Table with Search and Sort animated screenshot.
List your posts in a searchable and sortable filter. Source: Posts Table with Search and Sort

Your site visitors can filter content by date, category, tag, or author.

Tables display with pagination and responsive layouts for smaller screens.

Screenshot of a table generated with the Posts Table with Search and Sort plugin.
Create tables like this automatically using the plugin. Source: Posts Table with Search and Sort

The Pro version of the plugin includes over 50 advanced features, giving you complete control over all aspects of your tables.

These features include the ability to include any post type in tables, such as blog posts, pages, documents, and more, rename table headings, display or exclude items from showing in tables using a wider range of options, choose column widths and image sizes, embed audios and videos, and a whole lot more.

More info: Posts Table with Search & Sort (Free) | Posts Tables Pro (Premium)

Content Views

WordPress CMS Plugins - Content Views
Content Views – Post Grid & Filter for WordPress.

Content Views is a really useful and versatile plugin for displaying your content in attractive grid and list views.

The plugin makes it easy to display and sort posts, pages, and other content types without using code using filters like recent posts, categories, tags, authors, etc.

You can also add only selected posts to a view, and arrange the list by alphabetical order, published date, random order, or by dragging them into the order you’d like to see the content displayed.

Post grids are responsive and will automatically resize to look great on all devices.

The premium version of the plugin includes many additional useful grid and filter features, including displaying custom post type, filtering by custom taxonomy and custom field, frontend filter, displaying the grid on your Blog and Category pages, displaying ads in the grid, and much more.

We have created a tutorial that shows you how we use this plugin to keep the content on this website organized here: Web Content Organization

More info: Content Views (Free) or Content Views Pro (Premium)

TranslatePress

WordPress CMS Plugins - TranslatePress
Create a multilingual site using TranslatePress.

TranslatePress is a WordPress translation plugin that lets you create a bilingual or multilingual site for targeting users in other countries with content translated into different languages.

TranslatePress front-end visual translator editor
TranslatePress front-end visual translator editor. Source TranslatePress.

The interface allows you to easily translate the entire page at once, including output from shortcodes, forms, and page builders. It also works out of the box with WooCommerce.

This is a self-hosted translation plugin, so you’ll own all your translations.

Translate images and image sliders with TranslatePress.
You can also translate images and image sliders with TranslatePress. Source TranslatePress.

TranslatePress Multilingual Sites Premium includes a range of add-ons that let you extend the functionality of this WordPress translation plugin.

For example, you can:

  • Add an unlimited number of translation languages
  • Redirect first-time visitors to their preferred language based on their browser settings or IP address
  • Translate meta information for improved SEO (e.g. page title, description, URL slug, image alt tag, etc.)
  • Allow existing users to help translate the site without admin rights
  • Make translated content visible only to certain user roles
  • Configure and display different menu items for different languages
  • And more.

Watch the video below for an overview of what the plugin can do:

TranslatePress Multilingual Plugin

More info: TranslatePress (free) | TranslatePress (Premium)

Export All URLs

WordPress CMS Plugins - Export All URLs
Check how many post and pages are published,drafted, or scheduled and export All URLs.

Export All URLs lets you export the URLs of all your site’s pages, posts, and custom post types to a CSV file, which you can then easily import into a spreadsheet.

This plugin is useful for performing a content audit or site migration.

More info: Export All URLs

Duplicate Posts & Pages

WordPress CMS Plugins - Duplicate Posts & Pages
Duplicate your posts and pages with one-click.

Duplicate Posts & Pages is a handy plugin that lets you quickly and easily duplicate (clone) posts, pages, and custom posts.

You can set up default preferences for your newly duplicated posts and pages in the plugin’s settings section.

For example, depending on your site’s configuration, you can specify which editor new posts and pages should be saved as (classic or block editor).

Additionally, you can save duplicated items as a draft, private, public, or pending post or page, select where to redirect posts/pages after creating this, and add a suffix to your duplicated post or page.

After setting your preferences, simply hover over the post or page you want to duplicate and click on “Duplicate This” in the item’s menu.

If you need to give different user roles access to the post/page duplication function or use additional features like allowing which post types can be duplicated, then consider upgrading to the Pro version of the plugin.

The video below provides an overview of the plugin’s capabilities.

More info: Duplicate Posts & Pages

For additional plugins that you can use to duplicate posts and pages, see this tutorial:  How To Clone Posts and Pages In WordPress

Disable Comments

Disable Comments - Remove Comments And Stop Spam
Disable Comments – Remove Comments And Stop Spam

Don’t want others commenting on your posts? Use the Disable Comments plugin to prevent site-wide comments in WordPress.

If you plan to selectively disable comments on individual posts then you can do this directly through WordPress. If you want to disable comments on certain post types or on your entire site, then use this plugin.

With this plugin installed, you can globally control comments on your website and disable comments according to post type, on pages, attachments, etc.

The video below provides an overview of what this plugin can do:

More Details: Disable Comments

Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions

Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions
Optimize Database After Deleting Revisions keeps your WordPress database optimized.

WordPress (and the WordPress Autosave and Post Revisions Feature) stores all of your deleted posts, pages, comments, post revisions, spam comments, unused tags, etc. in the WordPress database.

All of this unnecessary data can significantly increase, bloat, and slow down your website.

Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions is a free ‘one-click’ WordPress database optimization plugin you can use to delete all the extra table data you don’t need from your site’s database.

You can choose what to remove to avoid accidentally deleting data.

This includes:

  • Old post, page, or custom post revisions (you can choose to keep a certain number of your most recent revisions and delete older revisions)
  • Trashed posts, pages, and comments (optional)
  • Spam comments (optional)
  • Unused tags (optional)

And a whole lot more!

Optimize database After Deleting Revisions - Main Screen
Optimize database After Deleting Revisions – Main Screen

You can also schedule optimization to run automatically hourly, daily, or weekly at a specific time (optional) and enable one-click database optimization links in your site’s admin bar and admin menu (optional).

After the plugin cleans up your database, it then optimizes its tables for better performance (optionally you can exclude certain tables, or even specific posts/pages, from optimization), and creates a log of the optimizations (optional).

More Info: Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions

For more plugins that can help you optimize your WordPress site’s database and delete unnecessary post revisions, go here: WordPress Plugins For Managing Post Revisions

Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields
Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields is a very popular WordPress plugin that expands your Content Management System’s capabilities significantly by allowing you to add extra content fields (called custom fields) to your WordPress edit screens.

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The plugin lets you create new custom fields with just a few clicks using a user-friendly field builder.

You can create as many fields as you like, each with its own name, type, and settings. Each field you create is then added to a group that allows you to organize your fields and specify the edit screens where these will appear.

In addition to posts, you can add and display custom fields on pages, custom post types, user profiles, comments, media, and more.

Advanced Custom Fields

For more help using ACF, refer to the plugin’s documentation, see this tutorial, or watch the videos below:

Explanation of ACF – Part 1

Explanation of ACF – Part 2

More info: Advanced Custom Fields

WPCode

WordPress CMS Plugins - WPCode
WPCode is a WordPress code manager that lets you insert code into headers and footers and custom code snippets.

WPCode is a code snippets plugin that makes it easy to add code snippets in WordPress without having to edit your theme’s files (note: Editing theme files like functions.php is not recommended, as you will lose all custom code functions if you update your theme or switch to another theme).

WPCode All Snippets screen.
The WPCode plugin includes a built-in WordPress code snippets library.

The plugin’s Global Header and Footer interface makes it easy to add code for applications like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixels, and custom CSS to your WordPress site’s header and footer and other areas of your website.

WPCode's Global Header and Footer screen.
Easily add code like Google Analytics to your site using WPCode’s Global Header and Footer screen.

You can also use WPCode to insert custom code for running different applications on your site (e.g. email newsletter forms) and then insert these into your posts and pages using a shortcode.

WPCode lets you add PHP code snippets (with smart code validation to prevent PHP errors), JavaScript code snippets, CSS code snippets, HTML code snippets, and text snippets with full conditional logic.

WPCode Edit Snippet screen.
Add custom code snippets to WPCode and insert these into your posts and pages using a shortcode.

Use this plugin to save time inserting scripts that need to go into either the Headers or Footers section of your website and manage all your header and footer scripts and other custom code snippets from a single screen.

Some examples of codes you may want to add using this plugin include inserting:

  • Google Analytics tracking code.
  • PHP Code Snippets or JavaScript code snippets without modifying your theme’s functions.php file.
  • Facebook Pixels code, Google Conversion Pixels code, and other Advertising Conversion Pixel Scripts with conditional logic.
  • Google AdSense Ads code, Amazon Native Contextual Ads code, and other Media Ads code.
  • Site Verification Meta tags for Social Media, Google Search Console, and other Domain verification scripts.
  • Add Rich Text Ads and Content Snippets automatically on posts & pages.

This plugin is quick and easy to set up, offers a ready-made Code Snippet Library and Custom WordPress Code Snippet Generator, and lets you add unlimited code snippets. You can also export/import code snippets,

More Info: Code Snippets

CoBlocks

WordPress CMS Plugins - CoBlocks
Enhance WordPress Gutenberg with CoBlocks.

The WordPress Block Editor is part of WordPress’ Gutenberg project, which aims to redefine what is possible with the WordPress CMS.

Many new blocks are being developed to extend the power of the WordPress CMS and CoBlocks is an example of this.

CoBlocks is an innovative collection of page-building WordPress blocks for the new Gutenberg WordPress block editor.

CoBlocks
CoBlocks turns Gutenberg into a true page builder.

It provides many additional blocks and true row and column building for a true page builder experience for Gutenberg.

CoBlocks plugin for WordPress
CoBlocks adds true row and column-building capabilities to the WordPress block editor.

CoBlocks’ additional blocks include:

  • Accordion Block
  • Alert Block
  • Author Profile Block
  • Carousel Gallery Block
  • Click to Tweet Block
  • Collage Gallery Block
  • Counter Block (New!)
  • Dynamic Separator Block
  • Events Block
  • FAQ Block
  • Features Block
  • Food & Drinks Block
  • Form Block
  • Gif Block
  • GitHub Gist Block
  • Hero Block
  • Highlight Block
  • Icon Block
  • Logos & Badges Block
  • Map Block
  • Masonry Gallery Block
  • Media Card Block
  • Offset Gallery Block
  • OpenTable Reservations Block
  • Post Carousel Block
  • Posts Block
  • Pricing Table Block
  • Resizable Row/Columns Blocks
  • Services Block
  • Shape Divider Block
  • Social Profiles Block
  • Social Sharing Block
  • Stacked Gallery Block
CoBlocks - sample of additional blocks.
CoBlocks provides many additional blocks to the WordPress Block Editor.

As well as providing many additional blocks, CoBlocks also gives you custom typography controls that let you design web pages and control typographic elements including fonts, sizes, weights, transformations, and more.

More Info: CoBlocks

Summary

There are a number of WordPress CMS plugins you can use to automate tasks in your Content Management System.

We recommend installing some of the plugins listed above and learning how to use these to manage your WordPress CMS more effectively.

info

The above is just a small sample of plugins you can use to enhance your WordPress CMS.

For more plugin tutorials, go here: WordPress Management Plugins

If you need help using WordPress, see the resources below:

  • WordPress Training Manual – A detailed and comprehensive step-by-step WordPress user manual for non-technical website users (non-coders).
  • WPMU DEV Blog – Hundreds of WordPress tutorials for advanced WordPress users.

tip

Make sure to subscribe to our updates to receive our free email course on managing your content effectively, which includes useful information and practical tips on using WordPress as a CMS.

Return to the main WordPress Plugins section.

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