The (Absolute) Best Tools to Help Build a Legit Online Business

If you’ve been in the Internet Marketing / Blogging sphere for any amount of time, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with various online services, programs, tools, themes, and plugins that promise you all manner of life changing benefits — from easily making ridiculous amounts of money to even doing your taxes (ok, kidding about this part).

Some of those blogging / marketing tools can ramp up your online business in significant (essential) ways, while others can save you time and make key tasks far more efficient.  Other tools allow better communication with your audience.

However, it’s a bit hard to sort through the wheat from the chaff when it comes to investing in some of the more essential tools. And, depending on exactly what you are doing online to make money (affiliate marketing, digital product creation, selling services, advertising, eCommerce ) and the platform you are using to communicate with your audience, your level of traffic, and how much money you currently generate online, the tools you may need drastically different.

The truth is that there are, as of 2015, a lot of pretty fantastic tools. But there’s a few standout ones that I consider MUST HAVE’s for pretty much every blogger, internet marketer, or website owner who wants to build an authority website and, eventually, make money on it.

All of these are premium services and must be purchased or subscribed to, BUT I also try and give FREE alternatives to each of them so you can get by without having to pay if you don’t have the money or are simply unwilling to pay.

This best list is NOT exhaustive by any means. And I’ll be adding to this list as time goes on with more and more items.

The Essential Tools for Marketers, Bloggers

Now I’m an Internet Marketer. But I’ve occupied a number of different positions over the past six years: blogger, internet marketer, niche marketing, eCommerce, SEO, and website development. These are the best tools / services I’ve found that help me in my line of work. Depending on what YOU do, you will find some (or all) of these very useful.

Note that I DO use everything single one of these tools / services mentioned here and I believe FIRMLY in only recommending stuff I use and love, rather than making up fake recommendations to make a commission. And some of these programs have my affiliate link to the product / service.

SEMrush

semrush-keyword-tool

(Best Overall SEO  Analytics Research Tool)

Why You Want It: Because it provides every sort of SEO, keyword research, competition research tool you will ever need in one, easy to use interface

SEMrush (affiliate link) This is pretty much the most useful tool out there for anyone who does ANY sort of niche marketing, seo, content marketing, or anything else online that touches on data related to searchers, website backlinks, PPC campaigns and advertisements.

It really has every tool you need for every type of marketer. You can keep tabs of keywords your website ranks for, you can track backlinks, you can do research on your competition and see what they rank for and their backlink profile. If you are into PPC advertising, you can track what your competitors are paying and what ads they are buying. For niche research, there’s a whole variety of tools too. If you are into niche marketing, SEO, or PPC advertising, this tool offers everything you need.

But, the starting package is $69 USD a month which, I agree, IS a bit pricey.

But if you can swing it, this is a MUST have I think. I use it and I’m glad I do. If you can’t afford the cost, then you can get buy on some of the other cheaper / free tools, but you are going to have to use a bunch of different ones to get 60 percent of what SEMrush gives you, so you’ll be spending a lot more time for less results. You can also get by (barely) on the free usage SEMrush offers you, though you’ll find you do want the more comprehensive data. Still if you have a couple of websites only, the free offerings may be good enough.

Probably my favorite feature with SEMRUSH is that you can put in a URL (your website or a competitors say) and it will give a list of the keywords and their ranking positions that website ranks for. This is a GREAT way to get a ranking profile for your own property and your competition’s at a glance. Particularly, you can out in a competitor’s website and see exactly what their best money terms are by looking to see what they rank for and the CPC associated with that term. You can then get a good idea what terms can make you money — chances are if the competitor has spent time ranking for specific keywords with a good CPC, those are the terms that bring in the money and the terms YOU want to target too.

Good Pay Alternatives: MajesticSEO, Opensite Explorer, arefs.com. All of these offer some free features though if you want to get really detailed analytics, you are going to have to pony up for a paid plan.

FREE Alternative: There is nothing else quite like SEMrush, but you can get buy on some free tools.

Ezee Rank Tracker

(Best Search Engine / Social Rank Tracker)

ezee rank tracker review

Why You Want It: Automatically track all your websites keyword ranking positions

This is a fabulous rank tracking tool that allows you to keep track of the search engine ranking position of keywords your website ranks for. And it also offers the most functionality for the best price to boot. If you have all-in-one dedicated solutions such as SEMRUSH or AHREFs or MAJESTICSEO, you will have the ability to add websites as projects and to track (a set limit) of keyword rankings for each, so you having something like Ezee Rank Tracker may not be needed. But if you have a LOT of websites and / or a lot of keywords to track and you don’t want to pay 30-100USD a month, then Ezee Rank Tracker (affiliate link) is a must.

In my opinion, Ezee Rank Tracker is hands down the best out of the bunch for a couple reasons (there are more but these are the core ones):

  • It’s $99 for a lifetime membership. The common model for most online services and tools is to charge you a monthly fee. I utterly detest this model. For certain services, I understand the reasoning, but on the part of some developers, it’s a simple money grab. Unfortunately, practically all the good premium website rank tracking services online charge you a monthly fee. But Ezee Rank Tracker does not. Pay $99 dollars and you can use it forever — and access all the frequent updates and upgrades the team adds to the service.
  • It allows unlimited projects with unlimited keywords. One of  the common limitations for rank tracking software (even the premium pay ones), is you are always given a cap on how many websites you are a allowed to track and how many keywords you can track for each website. Services such as SEMRUSH for example, where you pay $70 USD  a month, you can only track 5 websites and a maximum of 500 combined keywords for those 5 websites. From what I’ve seen, Ezee Rank Tracker is the only such service that allows unlimited websites and unlimited keywords for each website. This itself puts Ezee Rank Tracker ahead of all the competition. Note, if you want to keep tabs on more than 100 keywords, you are going to have to invest in proxy ips, otherwise you will be hit with captchas by Google. Fortunetly, this program includes a built in support for proxies AND a proxy scraper — so you can find free ones directly from the program or add your premium pay ones if you wish.
  • You can keep track of social rankings / shares. You can also track how many social shares your website / web pages get. That is, the facebook, google, pintrest, reddit, etc. shares your pages get. It’s a useful feature to have. Yes, you can find dedicated (even free) services online that will do this for you, but it’s nice to have this in one package.
  • Backlink Tracking. Not only can you track your search engine rankings, but you can track how many backlinks your website and pages on your websites get. It’s an awesome feature to have. And yes, you can find this service offered elsewhere. But having it included is makes the deal even sweater.
  • Reporting. You can set up automatic reports sent to your email or create alerts so you are notified of ranking drops/increases. This keeps you in the loop on how your site is doing. You also can display your rankings graphically and track how it does over time.

Paid Alternatives:

  • SEMRUSH: The best perhaps, but you pay to play with this one. And you are limited to only 500 keywords for the maximum of 5 websites with the $70 USD Pro package. This is seriously limiting if you want to track more than a couple websites! Ezee Rank Tracker offers the same tracking service BUT no keyword limit (you’ll need to scrape public proxies though if you have more than 100 keywords)
  • Hrefs.com: similar to SEMRUSH — a full SEO backlink research and rank tracking tool suit in one.
  • Market Samurai: A one time fee of $149, but you can only track 50 keywords. It has some nice features, but I don’t like how they charge you $149 for the core software then limit your functionality and force you to pay per month for the extra services, which IMO, should either be part of the core or the $149 should be removed and the whole service moved to a monthly plan.
  • Link Assistance Rank Tracker: I’m not a fan of this software as you have to keep paying for ‘subscriptions’ after 6 months in addition to the $149 cost. It’s good software with a lot of features, but I don’t like the deceitful pricing model they pull over on you.

Free Alternatives: 

  • Get the FREE Firefox Rank Tracker Plugin from SEOBOOK
  • Google Rank Tracker — a free tool you can download that can track rank for your sites.

Canva

canva review

(Best On-the-Fly Social Media Graphics Creation Tool)

An awesome, awesome tool that lets you build custom graphics for pretty much anything in a few minutes at most. This is more useful than you may initially think. In 2015, there is an emphasis on having minimal yet good looking designs. You need IMAGES (post images, cover images, banner graphics, etc) to achieve this. However, your options are either to pay for stock images (which is costly and time consuming), pay a graphic artists to make custom images for you, steal them (and have problems later), or make them yourself (time consuming).

However, Canva lets you DIY for any web image you might need but takes away the difficult and time requirements.

You can use it to build logos, ads, Facebook page profile pictures, Facebook Cover pictures, Twitter Cover Photos, Google Plus Cover photos, and just any anything else.

The key here is that it’s EASY to use and FREE for the most part. The way it works is you you pay for what you use. Canva has a lot of different templates and images you can use for a design. You can modify the colors, the text, and pretty much everything about the image design to make it your own. But some of their images you pay for. However, you can upload your OWN images and use the Canva image designer and pay nothing (I do this).

Canva is my GO TO source for making any sort of web graphic / web images for posts, social networks, eBook ads, or anything else.

Cost: FREE. You pay for some of the images IF you use them. There is a Canva for Business Option which gives you a lot of extra features that are very useful if you are running a website for creating to colors, the logos, and working with other people in a team who can also use your account too. I have this myself.

These are highly useful plugins or WORDPRESS tools that if you do anything related to internet marketing or even just blogging, you will probably need, eventually.

AppyPie: Mobile App Creator

appypie review

(Best Mobile App Creator)

Ever wanted to make an Android app for your website? One way is to comission someone to actually do it for you — a coder. But expect to pay $300-$800 for a custom app version of your website. Another option is to use AppyPie. You can create your own app version of your website in a few minutes flat.

Why would you do this? Because you can instantly access the huge marketplace of the app stores and get another source of traffic to your website and readers to your content.  AppyPie does cost per month though IF you want to brand that app as your own and not show AppyPie ads on it.

BuzzSumo

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(Best Tool to Find Guide Content Creation)

As much as I HATE paying per month, BuzzSumo is one of the more useful analytics websites out there especially if you want to focus on a content-heavy marketing strategy. It’s pricey at about $99 bucks a month, though you can use their free version which gives a couple free results for each search query.

If you are looking for a way to tailor your content about topics that you KNOW will get social shares and have a better chance going Viral, then BuzzSumo is a must. You can basically use it to track the most socially shared content for any website domain OR for any niche. You’ll get a list of the most shared articles on social networks. It sounds unnecessary, but if you are trying to cook up content that will get shared around, you NEED this tool to help guide your content creation efforts.

Free Alternatives:

  • BuzzSumo is a freemium product. You can use it for FREE in a limited capacity.
  • Topsy.com allows you to check TWITTER to find what content has done well there.

WordPress Themes

With thousands of premium and free themes out there, I certainly can’t tell you what the best is. This depends on what you are looking for in a theme. I can, however, give you some personal recommendations for a few themes that are highly rated AND that I bought and use myself for most of my own websites. I’ve had dozens of themes I’ve used and these definitely stand out as the best. I also do a LOT of research into a theme before I spend the money buying it, so anything I list here has a good reason for being recommended.

Genesis

genesis review

(The Best Framework for WordPress)

There are a number of frameworks out there, but hands down, Genesis (affiliate link) is the best of the bunch. Whether you want to use a Framework is up to you, but they generally add a lot of extra features and optimizations to the core WordPress. The universally regarded ‘best framework’ is Genesis. I own this and for specific themes for specific niches, I do use it, though not on every site I have. The old best framework used to be Thesis, but they’ve royally screwed up and are no longer on the radar for being anywhere near the best now.

Avada Theme

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(Best Overall WordPress Theme)

I reasonably can’t pick out one theme from the thousands and thousands of themes out there to say it’s the best. The best WordPress theme is a very subjective label and will depend, entirely, on what you need a theme to do. I’ve used dozens (arguably even 100) of different premium (and free) themes.

However, if there is one theme that stands out for me, it’s Avada. This is probably one of the most versatile themes out there, and it’s made huge waves since it came out a few years ago. With over 150,000 people who have downloaded it, Avada is not going to vanish any time soon. By far the bang per buck in terms of value for what you get. The key reason I’m recommending this as the best is that there is a ton of customization you can do and

Alternative: X Theme. X Theme comes with basically 4 completely different themes looks you can pick, with a huge amount of customization you can do to each of those theme looks. Basically, you can buy this theme and use it on every single one of your many sites, and each site will look different.  The theme looks, theme speed, theme functionality are all also very impressive. However, this theme is best suited for specific types of blogs (products, photography, business / corporate). If you want a mores standard magazine style theme or personal blog theme, something like a customized Avada, Smartmag, or a premium Genesis Framework theme may do better.

A few other best theme recommendations:

  • Best Parallax Theme: Soliloquy (the theme you see on this website. One of the best single page themes with Parallax design)
  • Best General Magazine Theme: SmartMag (the best magazine theme)
  • Best Blog Style Theme: WP-Prosperity (awesome looking blog theme and super customization)
  • Best Food Blog Theme: Foodie Pro (Genesis Theme)

Best WordPress Premium Plugins

I gave a list of the best free themes and the best premium plugins, but here’s a re-cap and some other suggestions. I use every single one of these.

Formidable Pro

formidable pro review

(Best Form Builder for WordPress)

Why You Need It: To create customized forms in WordPress that can do anything, such as a shopping cart form to take payments

Formidable Pro, the best form builder for the price you pay. I never realized just how important a form building plugin for WordPress was until I needed to actually SELL a product/service to an audience. You can have a great looking website, you can have a good looking landing page with a good sales copy written. But then you actually need to think about the FORM that the customer fills out. You need to be able to modify that form , you need to be able to control what’s shown on the form depending on what the customer selects on the form, and you need to be able to take the customers payment information and process it.

If you are selling an actual digital product, you can use a service like Clickbank that handles the purchase and distribution of it. But if you are going to be taking the order (and money) yourself, then you need a custom solution. And this is where Form Building plugins come in. There’s a number of different solutions on the market, with Gravity Forms the favorite.

However, I don’t like how you have to pay each month to use Gravity Forms. An equal alternative that offers the same features without the monthly payments is Form Builder Pro. There more of a learning curve involved, but it’s powerful and you can use it to build whatever sort of forms you need and you can hook those forms up to a payment processor if you want to process payments. Most people who have used both agree that Formidable Pro offers the same things you can do with Gravity Pro.

As of 2016, a new alternative here is WPFORMS by the same developer of the absolutely AWESOME OptinMonster. The idea is to make the most beginner friendly form plugin on the market, and it succeeds. It’s dead simple to make the most common forms. Now, compared to Gravity Froms or Formidable, WPFORMS won’t let you do as much…yet. But given the developer’s reputation for making amazing wordpress plugins, it’s likely to climb to the top in the form space. Even more interesting, the plugin offers a limited time LIFETIME purchase for a couple more months. The developer usually puts out a lifetime license for a few months to early buyers, then switches to the pay per month model. The same happened with OptinMonster (I bought the lifetime for that in 2014, and in 2015, the developer removed that option). Since there is a limited LIFETIME option, WPFORMS would be the form builder to look at right now, even though the lifetime will cost you over $300 USD, I suspect it will be highly worth it in about a year. I don’t regret a single dollar spent on optinmonster, even though I paid nearly $300 for it. 2 years later and I use it on every one of my sites, and the developer has added a tone of really big features, making OptinMonster the clear leader in the newsletter optin space.

Free Alternative:

  • Contact Form 7 not as feature rich by FAR as Formidable Pro or Gravity Forms, but you can replicate some of the form building features, and it’s FREE.

Profit Builder

profit builder pro review

(Best Landing Page Builder)

Why You Need It: To Build Specialized Sales Pages to Convert Readers into Buyers…on the cheap.

In my opinion, Profit Builder (affiliate link) is the all round best landing page creator for WordPress, when factoring in the feature set it offers and the value you get. It’s both a plugin AND a theme — you can use either. If you have an existing theme for your website, simply activate the Profit Builder plugin and you can use it to create a sweet looking landing page to sell your product or service. You can create your own template from scratch or use on the the 60+ existing templates (each for a different TYPE of landing or sales page), then modify the template completely.

There are some alternatives to Profit Builder like OptimizePress.

But these alternatives charge you every month (or in the case of OptimizePress, only give you 1 year of updates) whereas Profit Builder you can pay a one time fee and get lifetime updates. Me and my brother use Profit Builder ourselves as our go-to landing page creator. In fact, my Brother just used it to create the landing page for his recent digital product and it’s proven to be pretty effective at selling the product. Frankly, if you are willing to deal with a few of the bugs and the higher learning curve, Profit Builder is a better choice over OptimizePress, and a far far more budget friendly one at that.

OptinMonster

optin monster review

(Best Optin / Newsletter Builder)

Why You Need it: To easy build an email newsletter subscriber list from your website

OptinMonster is universally regarded as the best newsletter optin plugin / service. Building a list is one of the most important things you can do. You hear marketers talking about it but you actually don’t realize how good a list really is until you start trying to sell something to your readers. Simply put, your ‘list’ is your best, highest converting audience. You have a direct line of communication with readers who WANT to hear what you are saying (and who are more willing to buy something because they trust you).

My brother, Steve, for example, just finished creating his first Digital Product — two eBooks targeting a niche we’ve built an authority blog in. After he launched the product, 95 percent of the ebook sales came from the list we’ve built over the past year (read the case study here). Facebook referral traffic (which is sometimes thousands of people a day) and search engine traffic (1500 or so visitors a day) have only accounted for about 5 or 10 percent of his sales so far. The bulk of those sales have come from the LIST.

Now to build an email list is a whole post in itself. But one of the most effective ways of doing so is through OptinMonster, which is a list building plugin. Basically, you have a number of different methods of getting newsletter signups: the classic popup box, slide in form, in-post form box, sidebar form box, etc. OptinMonster allows you to select what type of newsletter signup form method you want to use on your blog (or even on a non-WordPress site) and it allows you to completely customize the look of the form. You can select what newsletter subscription service you have (mailchimp, mailpoet,etc), and even set up split testing between different newsletter forms to determine which is the most effective.

The bottom line: you need this plugin. There are other, cheaper alternatives on the market, but OptinMonster really is the absolute best. Building a list is the best thing you can do for your website (and eventually, to make money with) and OptinMonster is the best tool for the job.

MailChimp

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(Best Newsletter Management Service) 

Why You Need It: To effortlessly mange your newsletters (subscribers, newsletter creation, newsletter automation, etc0

We rate MailChimp as the best newsletter management service, hands down. You may have your newsletter plugin set up to start taking emails on your site, but you need to store those emails, manage them, and create the newsletters to send to that list. By far the best means of doing so is through MailChimp, an online newsletter service that manages your newsletters signups. Your signups are automatically manged by MailChimp (it can be used with OptinMonster), and you can craft newsletters directly in MailChimp to send to your subscribers. Additionally, there are all sorts of automation features so you can send out newsletters or chains of them to your subscribers, depending on the actions they have taken.

There are other options, but MailChimp is the best. Once you start using it, you really won’t want to use anything else. It’s just so damn easy, useful, and convenient.

Free Alternative:

  • You can use MailChimp for free  up to a certain number of subscribers with a limited feature set

Thirsty Affiliates (Affiliate Link Management Plugin)

thirsty affiliates review

(Best Affiliate Link Manager)

Why You Need It: Manage Affiliate Links, Cloak Them, and (optionally) easily create amazon affiliate links directly from WordPress for any product.

Thirsty Affiliates is one of my most loved and most used plugins for wordpress and my pick, due to the base plugin being free and the pay addon’s offering some really awesome features, as the best affiliate link management plugin. I use this for pretty much every single website I own (read How I Made 150,000 with Amazon Affiliates). It basically cloaks your affiliate links  so they look like. innocuous, regular links (or at least not long ugly ones). You can easily manage all your affiliate links with this plugin and re-use them if needed without having to make new ones, once you add an affiliate link.

The real power, for me, is for Amazon Affiliate links. There is a $49 Addon you can buy that basically hooks Thirsty Affiliates into your Amazon Affiliate account. Once it’s hooked up, you can, right from the thirsty affiliates dashboard, search for any amazon product and it will load those products into the window feed. You can then click one button to generate an affiliate link to that product on the fly. Additionally, you can import the product picture from amazon as well. This saves an incredible amount of time if you use Amazon affiliate links. The normal process is that you must go login to the Amazon Associate dashboard, do a search for the product you want to create a link to from the associates top bar, select your affiliate ID, then click on a button to generate the link.

With this Amazon Addon, you search for the product, you click a link to create the affiliate link and import the picture in and your done. You can then add that link (text or picture or custom anchor) into any post with a click of a button.

Trust me, you save loads of time with this. If you promote with Amazon, you need this. Even if you don’t use Amazon, the regular affiliate link cloaking is awesome to have.

Simple Page Tester (A/B Split Testing Plugin)

simple page tester review

(Most Reasonably Priced A/B Split Testing Method for WordPress)

Why You Need It: Split test any post/page on your WordPress plug to find out what version converts more

A/B Split testing it a big field and there are a lot of different programs and services. The best budget friendly option is a simple little plugin called Simple Page Tester which lets you compare two pages against each other and test which does better. You can track conversions. Over time, you can tell which page is more effective.

For example, say you have a landing page selling a product. You can create two different landing pages and use this plugin to see which of those converts more. This is a no-brained way to increase your conversion rate and it’s something you SHOULD be doing if you haven’t already.

Many of the competing programs charge you a lot of money each month to use their Split Testing services with your WordPress blog. Simple Page Tester doesn’t — you simply pay a one time fee and you get it (and all updates) for life. Can’t beat that. And getting one more sale because you’ve used this program to make a more effective landing page already pays for the cost of the plugin.

Look there are BETTER A/B Split testing solutions that give more features, but these ALL cost you anywhere from 20 to hundreds of dollars a month. Not exactly idea for the price conscious. This plugin is cheap and a one time fee and you can use it for most things you might want to test and improve on a wordpress blog. Works for me.

BackupBuddy

backupbuddy review

(Best Overall Backup Plugin with a lot of extras) 

Why You Need It: To Backup Your WordPress Automatically and to Restore Backups with a Click

I love, love, love BackupBuddy (affiliate link). Besides OptinMonster and ThirstyAffiliates, it’s my most used plugin hands down.

Backing up your websites is one of the most important things you can do. For most people, a backup is one of the least important things to do, until, that is, something goes wrong and a backup is NEEDED. There are a number of backup solutions. I’ve even written up a huge post about how to create a backup workflow for your wordpress blogs.

I personally use BackupBuddy on on my important websites, both to back them up and to pair a Staging Test site to test big changes on and push to the lives site. I also use it to migrate websites over to brand new domains without a headache.

If you have WordPress and you don’t want the headache of backing everything up manually yourself, just get BackupBuddy. This plugin will automatically manage your backups for you. You can back your blog up — the database only or all files + the databases — to your local server, remote FTP storage locations, or cloud storage solutions. And, once you make a backup, you can easily go into your backup directly from the plugin via a file manger utility to restore individual files if you need to.

This is pretty useful if you play around with your theme files, accidentally mess something up, and need to restore the broken file. You can do so in literally a few seconds.

However, besides the brain dead easy automatic backup solution BackupBuddy gives you, there’s also some key features any website owner will appreciate. First off, the new version (6.3) allows you to create a Staging Site duplicate of your main site. This is POWERFUL. You can basically, from the dashboard, directly make a CLONE version of your live site to a new domain or subdomain, then use the staging site to install new plugins, install and set up a new theme, or pretty much anything. You can then PUSH changes to your live site from the staging site. I use and abuse this when changing wordpress themes and doing a few days of setting up the theme. Why subject a live audience to all this? I do it on the staging site, then when it looks good and works, push the changes to the live site — and it’s all done right away.

Additionally, you can use BackupBuddy to migrate your whole blog to a brand new domain with just a few clicks of the button. This can really save you a lot of time, as manually moving your blog from one domain to another domain can be a real pain in the ass.

Free Alternative:

  • UpDraft. You can get this plugin for free and have automated backups to your server and to some cloud storage sites like Google Drive. The interface is horrid though, but free is free.

Bullet Proof Security Pro (Security WordPress Plugin)

If you’ve ever had your WordPress site hacked or malware installed right under your nose, you’ll know the benefits of having a good security plugin. I’ve had issues for years with just about every WordPress site get targeted by hackers and maleware uploaded.

  • I’ve had websites hacked by Iranian hackers with the index file defaced (and google issue a hacking warning about my site in the SERPS)
  • I’ve had maleware uploaded into the wordpress files
  • I’ve had links redirect to spam sites

It’s annoying and it’s a waste of time dealing with fixing the problem when you don’t have to.

You can drastically reduce the chances of having a WordPress security breach if you use a good security plugin. It won’t completely protect your site, but it can make a difference. There’s actually a number of things you can and should do to ‘harden’ your wordpress against intrusion. A good security plugin will do many of these things for you, though you will also need to some stuff manually for the best, most complete protection.

There are some good security programs out there:

  • Sucuri
  • Wordfence
  • Ithemes Security
  • Bullet Proof Security Pro

Now all of these have two versions: a free plugin version and a premium, pro plugin. All of these offer pretty good security, with perhaps Sucuri’s Antivirus all inclusive package the best of the bunch because for $199 a year, they will protect your wordpress, back it up, and also repair any security breaches / contamination. However, you have to pay $199 per website. If you have a SINGLE money making authority website, this a good option if you don’t want to worry about anything. I can see the appeal.

Wordfence’s basic plugin is decent, but you really want the features of their premium version — but it will cost you about $5 a month.

Personally, my recommended security plugin is Bullet Proof Security Pro. Why? Because it offers most of what all the other security plugins offer but for only a one time cost of $59 for lifetime upgrades. No pay-per-month shit. Now, it doesn’t do everything, but it does most of what you need. And you can combine it with another security plugin to fill in any gaps (I recommend wordfence free or sucuri free).

And yes, I use Bullet Proof Security Pro myself on all my websites. The last straw was when I suffered a big hack a few months ago and spent DAYS repairing a wordpress site. The damn maleware even invaded my backups. After this, I went out, did the research on all the security plugins, and then bought Bullet Proof Security Pro.

I’ll write a post in the future about the best security plugins and a guide to hardening your wordpress so you don’t get security breaches like I’ve had to deal with.

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