Blogging Tools

Quick Reference For Solving Problems With Your Blog

How to use this page.

At the top, there are several tabs.  Each tab has some general categories such as Writing and SEO.  Links are provided and a brief description showing you tools for common blog issues.

At the bottom of this page is a Q&A Section.  Here you will find specific solutions to common WordPress problems.  I update these regularly.

Tools by Category

Grammar, Spelling, And Syntax Tools

Hemmingway App – This is a writing tool to help write better sentences.  It identifies common errors like

  1. Excessive use of the passive voice
  2. Really hard sentences
  3. Spelling errors
  4. Excessive adverbs

The app counts the number of words in your article and gives a reading difficulty grade.

example showing how the hemmingway app can improve your writing

Grammarly – Checks spelling and grammar.

Plagiarism Checker

Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

Small SEO Tools

Miscellaneous

Emoji Generator – Copy and paste as needed

Keyword Tools

SEO Book  Keyword Density Tool

Google Trends – Keyword interest over time

Google Keyword Planner – Recently updated

Adwords Editor

Keyword Tool IO – Alternative to Google Keyword.  The free tool allows you to generate up to 750 long tail keywords.  You need to buy the pro version if you need search volume.

SerpStat – Get 30 queries per day on the free plan.  The tool provides keywords and questions people ask in regards to the particular keyword.

Other SEO Tools

Google Search Console – Search analytic for your site.

Google Pagespeed – Find out how fast your site loads in either the Desktop or Mobile.  The tool provides suggestions for speed improvements.

Ideas

Buzzsumo – Helps find relevant keywords and how they trend

Outsourcing

Copyblogger certified writers – hire some of the best in the business.

Text Broker – service that provides writers based on skill level.

Upwork – Find help from Content writers, VAs, and SEO specialists.

Fivrr – Hire many different types of task such as writing, infographic creation, and SEO optimization.

Headlines

Portent – Headline generator.  This tool helps you brainstorm headlines that work.

Redirect Tools

Rapid Tables Redirect Generator – Code generator for creating redirects quickly and easily.

Redirect Detective – Diagnose redirects for any page and find out if you have any problems such as a loop.

htaccess Tools

Incredible Bill – htaccess code generator.  Site generates common instructions such as blocking sites and referring agents.

htaccesscheck – code checker to make sure your htaccess syntax is correct.  If you have even the smallest error, it can shut down your site.

Why No Padlock – Helps you to find any mixed content on your site.  You will see this if you have SSL enabled but some of your resources such as scripts are served over HTTP

Link Shortening Tools

Google 

Bitly

Tiny URL

Social Media Tools

Twitter card validator paste the link to the site to preview how it will look in your tweet.  Helpful to prevent posting snippet errors.

Facebook debug tool – useful if you need to flush the Facebook cache.  For example: if you update a page after you originally posted it to Facebook, then you must clear the cache in order for it to render properly.

Buffer – schedule tweets in advance.  Complete control over posting time, hashtags, and it has a built in link shortener.

Pocket – save pages from the web, then send to Buffer for scheduling.  Pocket also has a content curation tool built in to find relevant topics for your niche.

IFTTT – If this then that.  Create recipes to assist with automation of tedious tasks.  For example you can create a recipe to automatically send all new articles from Pocket to Buffer.

Keyhole – track hashtags in real time.

keyhole hashtag tool screenshot

Hashtagify – Find relevant twitter hashtags.  This is a paid tool.

Hashatit – Hashtag search engine. This is a free tool.

Favicon Generator – A favicon is a small image shown at the top of the web browser.  By adding a favicon your viewers can quickly identify your site when they have multiple tabs open.

Hex codes for colors – Reference for common colors.

WordPress problems and their solutions.

When you are logged into the backend of your site, WordPress displays a tool bar by default at the top of the page.

To hide this while logged in, go to Users – Your Profile and uncheck the Show Toolbar when viewing site checkbox.

hide nav bar in wordpress screenshot

There are several landing page plugins for WordPress, but many of the free versions are limited in function.

For simple drag and drop landing pages that are totally free, then use Elementor.  It’s the best one out there and is not crippled like other free plugins.

You can create any landing page you want with single or multiple columns in a few minutes.

There are free and pro version templates available.

There are several plugins available.

We use prettylink.  The free version works great to shorten any link or create beautiful affiliate links with click tracking.

This could be a problem with the theme and the length of the top menu bar.

If there are too many items in the menu that will fit, it can throw off the theme where it won’t display the remainder of the page until it’s scrolled.

To solve the problem, shorten the number of top page menu items and then refresh.

Using the WordPress text editor or HTML widget.

First you need to define where the target is, for example a particular heading on the page.

Next, create a link to the section.  You can omit the domain name if you are going to a portion on the page you are on.  Precede the target with the # symbol.

For example:

Select the frame option from Amazon and paste it between a center HTML code like this.

screenshot showing how to center amazon images

The problem is that if you type in the code you are trying to explain in the text editor, WordPress converts it into whatever you are trying to explain, for example italics.

To solve the problem you need to escape the HTML code.  The easiest way to escape the HTML code is to use a tool.

This works great if you stay in the text editor, but if you accidentally show the visual editor, all changes will be gone.

Another alternative is to type the code  into the visual editor like this:

<center>test</center>

WordPress will escape the characters in the text editor like this:

&lt;center&gt;test&lt;/center&gt;

Add this code to your child’s theme functions.php

/* Display Featured Image Under Title of Single Posts */
add_action( ‘genesis_entry_header’, ‘featured_post_image’, 12 );
function featured_post_image() {
if ( ! is_singular( ‘post’ ) ) return;
the_post_thumbnail(‘post-image’);
}