There is one thing I love to read occasionally—the technology used to power my favorite blogs. Most of the blogs run on WordPress, a platform preferred by many bloggers, and also one of the easiest ways to start a blog when you don’t know much about coding. This makes it easy for many people to different blog setups and also copy other blogs depending on what you find useful for your site.
For instance, one of the most common and easy things to imitate is the website design, which is mostly connected to a WordPress theme—which can either be customized or not. In addition to this, you can also copy the plugins of another blog, and get to achieve different things that you need in your blog.
Recently, I’ve been receiving lots of emails asking more about the theme I use in my blog as well as the specialized features. Therefore, this post will give more details about the theme and special features that I use on my website.
So, what’s my favorite theme?
I have been using a number of themes from the Genesis Framework and StudioPres since I started SEO Super Hero. For a while, I have been switching and using themes from these two platforms, but it reached a point where I found it easier to buy their entire pro-package, rather than continuing to buy new themes whenever I needed to switch.
In the first year of running my blog, I switched my themes around 3 to 5 times, until I realized that the theme and design didn’t matter that much unless I created posts and attracted traffic to my blog. Once I realized that I updated and switched the design of Super Hero SEO once in every few years. Currently, I’m using the Smart Passive Income theme from StudioPress. And if you might have guessed right, Pat Flynn inspired the theme on the Smart Passive Income website.
He was among the first bloggers I started following when I started Super Hero Seo back in 2012, and up to now, I still read some of these posts occasionally. As I highlighted earlier, I update my blog’s theme every 2 years, and this means my current theme is ready for a change since I installed it in 2017. If you manage a website, there is something you need to note—you need to change your theme on a regular basis since you will be getting new website designs each day. And, my current theme has not been updated for some time at Studio Press since it is not Gutenberg ready.
At the moment, I have several themes that I’m considering to replace my current theme with. However, I’m torn in between choosing another theme from StudioPress or hiring a web designer to create a customized design using WordPress Astra and Elementor since this is the latest trend I’ve seen in the last few years. If I choose to use a new Genesis theme, I will be able to change everything within a day since I’m already familiar with each customization options and settings available. However, I don’t want to do this since it’s my desire to switch to something newer, future proof, and more customizable.
I’ve already experimented with Elementor and Astra on a number of other websites that I own, but I need a web designer to assist me in creating a template the way I need it to be. Well, we shall see how that will turn out to be, and I might end up making some changes later.
What’s my favorite plugins for Super Hero SEO?
I know you’ve been waiting for this moment. At the moment, I have installed 13 plugins on my website, but I will only highlight 9 of these plugins since the rest are related to Genesis Framework and are useful for anyone who uses StudioPress themes. Moreover, the missing plugins are just related to the simple functions of the theme—which means I will no longer need them if I stop using theme builder.
The following are my favorite WP plugins and how they work at Super Hero SEO
Broken Link Checker
I’ve been using the broken link checker for several years now. Although the link has not been updated for a while, it still does the job right. This link assists you in identifying broken links on your site so that you can see if you need to replace or delete the link.
It’s good to note that broken links are not good when it comes to SEO, and you will lose a lot of traffic if you direct them to non-existing sites. In addition, the plugin also notifies you when users leave comments with links, and they become broken after some time. This is something common with spammers or people who start their sites, and then they let their domain name expire within a year if their project does not turn out the way they expected.
All-In-One WP Migration
I use this essential plugin for migration purposes. With the plugin, I’m able to move lots of sites from one server to another, depending on their age, and this plugin comes in handy at least each month or so.
In addition, I also use the All-In-One WP Migration plugin to backup my site (WP Files + Database) each month. This means, I’m able to retrieve my site’s backup and restore it in case something happens—and you will not even notice that something happened. You should note that I like using unmanaged servers, and Vultr is my preferred VPS. That means I don’t have any support staff to assist me when I encounter challenges or do weekly backups—just like what other companies provide with their managed servers.
I don’t pay much for that, but the benefit of using an unmanaged server is speed since you don’t need to deal with WHM or cPanel.
This plugin, which has been developed by AdEspresso is an amazing tool that I used several years ago to manage my Facebook Ads. Even though I don’t use Facebook tools to manage my ads, Pixel Caffeine enables me to do a number of things, like implementing facebook pixel on my site, as well as creating custom audiences or actions (searches, purchases, and leads) without the need of manually adding the code to every page on my site.
Then, I use my pixel to create Facebook Ads and target my audiences. The most interesting thing about this plugin is that it’s 100% free.
Quick Link for WordPress
Even though this is an experimental plugin, it works very well. Google and WordPress team developed the plugin, and it assists you in preloading your site’s content, to make it faster so that it can load to your visitors. What Quick Link does is analyzing what people are viewing on your screen, and preloads the visible links. This means the viewers will not have to wait for long for the link to load since it’s usually preloaded by default.
This sounds very good, and it is similar to the code that I use in affiliate marketing to increase the conversion rates in my landing pages—although it might be a challenge to explain. Quick Link also tries to determine the device and type of connection the visitor is using so as to avoid any additional bandwidth charges when it is not necessary.
Images are some of the heaviest elements on any site. And, large images will make your site to load slowly, and most times you will not need such large images unless you are managing a photography website. But, Imagify comes in handy at such moments.
The plugin allows you to compress and resize your images in a format that decreases the load time of your site, and also makes your site faster.
- For instance, if you upload a 13MP image from your phone, it can be as heavy as 6 or 7 MB—just to mention a number. To resize the image properly to your site’s requirements, it can reduce the size to 800 KB. After that, the image needs to be compressed, which can reduce its size further to 300 KB—so, your image will end up being 12x lighter and 12x times faster to load.
Before uploading any images to Super Hero SEO, I always ensure that I resize them, and Imagify has assisted me to lower the database of my images by 59% using its compression methods. This plugin has a free plan which is ideal for most bloggers who create 5 to 10 posts each month. However, you might need to make a one-time payment if you have content on your site that you posted before and you need it compressed—however, the payment will depend on your needs.
Google Analytics by MonsterInsights
If you manage a WordPress site, there are several ways that you can apply your Google Analytics Code. You can do it manually, insert a code snippet in your theme, or use Google Analytics, just as I do to Super Hero SEO. MonsterInsights can connect to your analytics accounts through PIA, and give you the statistics to display them in your WordPress dashboard.
I really like this since Google Analytics is a bit intricate, and their interface is not so straightforward. However, you might not need this plugin at all if you are comfortable with your Google Analytics implementation.
This plugin links your website to your ConvertKit account, which allows you to access additional features. In other words, ConvertKit allows you to add forms to the content on your site, also filter and tag your visitors in case they have come from email broadcasts. However, you need to note that the plugin is limited to ConvertKit users. Therefore, you should consider changing ESPs if you are a blogger.
Today, there are several WP cache plugins available—but none of these plugins can be compared to WP Rocket. I have used plugins like WP Super Cache, but I realized that most of these plugins are complicated, confusing, and less efficient than the WP Rocket. This plugin enables cache with several links and has a better performance than all the other related plugins.
The plugin also comes with lots of advanced settings, as well as a graphics user interface that is easy to navigate. Because of this, WP Rocket has been the favorite plugin for many bloggers for the past 3 years. One thing I have noted with Super Hero SEO is that it loads within 1 second, and it can even load under half a second—thanks to this plugin.
This loading speed is faster compared to most sites in the entire world. In addition, WP Rocket enables me to connect my site to Cloudflare’s CDN, which also boosts my loading speed in different parts of the world. This is very beneficial for people visiting Super Hero SEO from locations like India, Australia, UK, and other regions. What you need to understand is this—not everyone who visits your site if from your home country. Even though WP Rocket is a paid plugin, it will give you a good value for your money.
This has been my favorite plugin so far, even though I have recently come across another interesting alternative—RankMath. I’ve been using Yoast SEO for the past few years, which means I understand every detail about this plugin. It’s important to note that On-Page SEO is essential, and Yoast SEO does the job when it comes to that—but you don’t forget that Off-Page SEO is equally important, and they rely on each other to work.
I’m planning to try out another SEO plugin in one of my new sites—but I will inform you in case I change my mind about Yoast SEO.
I use those plugins here at Super Hero SEO. These plugins assist me in all my SEO activities—but the most important thing is—I always develop content and authority to improve my rankings. Themes and plugins are the primary and essential parts when it comes to web design, but they will not work if you don’t do the actual job. You can try some of these things I have highlighted above in your blog and see the changes they will make.