Monthly download BlogSpiritGeek February 2016

This post is like Evernote for WordPress everything for the month is pasted in here!

A short guide to my wanderings on the inter-webs in the month of February.  Let’s see if I manage it next month!

Highlights

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Enjoying my new blogging seat at the Spirituality Itself channel at Patheos.com.  I am so excited to be a part of this and really believe that my writing is growing as a result.  They asked me, they asked me!

Here are the posts I’ve published so far

Practical spirituality for housewives – amongst the diapers and activity when having 2 girls 17 months apart – some interesting energy work gets studied and intuitions get noticed.

What is most sacred to you? A powerful spiritual question.  A question I saved and put away for later reaps huge benefits for me when my mum transitions, when I want to be in nature and continually supports me on the Spiritual Journey.

Can teens learn to practice gratitude?  My oldest teenager has an existential crisis and we both learn something as a result.  (Yes, teens can, really!).

Podcasting

microphone-1018787_640The energy got me podcasting again this month – it’s been a while – so here are two short podcasts to enjoy on the journey.  The Power of Story and A Remote Energy Experience.

Subscribe on iTunes here | Subscribe on RSS here

Geeky stuff – a plugin, an excerpt and Google fonts on The Gossip

My favorite plugin lately is MailMunch’s sign-up form.  Even with the free version, you can create some very nice options for email sign-ups and it’s really making a difference to the size of the list.  Click here for the link to the WordPress plugin details.

Still working on the next layer of the onion to increase visitors to my Mom On A Spiritual Journey blog.  Recently with my new job at Patheos I was encouraged to fill in the Excerpt field more often.  This will show potential readers tailored post content when they are thinking of reading your post, instead of content grabbed by your theme by default.  I have had a lot more daily visitors since implementing this policy.

I use a neat theme on the Mom On A Spiritual Journey blog called Gossip by Ghostpool.  It has plenty of flexibility for what I need to do.  Recently I bit the bullet and added some new google fonts.  I am very happy with the result!

That’s it for now.  Until next time.

My 3 most useful WordPress Plugins to date (2010-2014)

wordpress pluginsWordPress Plugins!

Ooh I just love them…am a bit of a tinkerer…could play with them all day…but which ones are really the MOST useful from my 4 years of blogging experience so far?

Always Google-ing WordPress Plugins

I’m often google-ing to see what new plugins are out there.

It’s amazing what people can think up and it tickles my nerdiness to see how a plugin might look on one of my sites.

I’m going to be harsh on myself and only pick 3 WordPress plugins for this post however

I will restrain myself and list only 3 standout plugins that I find immensely useful and helpful on different sites.  Currently I use the free versions, not the ‘pro’ versions.

1. SEO WordPress by Yoast

If you have a self-hosted site WordPress site or any  WordPress site that allows you to install plugins, of course start with Akismet for anti-spam reasons.  (Google it!).  OK that one slipped under the bar.

Next install SEO WordPress by Yoast.  This plugin will give you discipline, amongst other things.  It’s there to show you how your post is going to look when it’s searched on google or any other search engine and it may also help your rankings on google if you are…

– consistent with completing your settings on each blog post and page

– able to place your keywords in your blog post in a way that makes sense to the reader and makes the SEO WordPress by Yoast plugin happy (lots of green points -yay!).

– consistent with use of Category and Tag choices related to the post you are writing.

– This plugin also creats .xml sitemaps for your blog.  They are darn handy when helping to get your blog found.  More about that in another post…

2. Magic Action Box

Now this one can take a little time for the uninitiated to get used to…however Magic Action Box (free version) is still enormously helpful.  I am considering buying the pro version of this one.

(Hint: make sure you create a Style before you create the Action Box – then all will work as you have hoped).

Magic Action Box helps you to create Opt-in boxes, or sign up boxes for people to sign up to your email list.  Even on the free version you can create quite pretty boxes and connect them to your email list provider, such as Constant Contact or MailChimp.

For those of us in the ‘copy and paste’ category when it comes to coding, this is a huge relief.

3. Optimize Database Plugin

Just imagine a plugin that automatically tidies up your WordPress database, cleans up your spam folders and maintains a chosen number of copies of your posts and pages, keeping your database to a nice manageable size which performs well.

WordPress Plugin Heaven.