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Raven ToolsSaying the folks at Raven Tools are the essence of effective innovation is an understatement. Indeed though there are many Internet Marketing tools out there, only few are as comprehensive and effective as the ones that we have seen out come out of Sitening. One may recall the Schema Creator tool launched back in July last year. Well now, they bring us a Google Analytics Configuration tool.

If you have ever had to run the Online Marketing effort of a multi-domain or enterprise website, you know that setting up the analytics tool in a way that help you collect meaningful and actionable data is your key to success. Many know that Google Analytics offers the same capabilities that all the “not-free” web analytics tool out tout as their competitive advantage. The challenge remains for every organisation how to set up the Google Analytics account and configure it so that it becomes a meaningful asset instead of just a repackaging of your server log raw data. Unfortunately not everybody is a “Certified Google Analytics Professional” or a programming maniac. Many people are just like me, as we love data, we love information, but we don’t want to spent valuable billable hours on setting up tools.

This is where the Google Analytics Configuration Tool from Raven Tools comes in.

Taylor Pratt explained that when it comes down to setting up GA and the corresponding goals and KPIs, he made a general observation which is that:

As I mined through the bottomless Google Analytics knowledge base and countless posts from Google Analytics experts, I noticed a trend: advice was inconsistent and, in many cases, outdated. So with the help of LunaMetrics, a Google Analytics Certified Partner, I put together tutorials and tools to simplify the setup process once and for all. – Taylor Pratt

So What is the big deal?
The website GaConfig.com does most of the work for you, and walks you through a step by step approach with in many cases a quality control checkpoint. You feed it your set up information, options and needs, and it takes you to process while giving you the appropriate codes. All you need to have ready to use the tool are your account number, your URL, and which syntax of Google Analytics you are planning on using. The best part of it all is that because the tool does not store any data on the site, there is no privacy concern to be worried about, not counting the fact that the tool is free.

There are 8 solutions available on the tool, and they are group according to whether you want to set the tools or your KPIs.

Google Analytics Account Set Up Solutions

  • Set up tracking for one domain with subdomains
  • Set up tracking for multiple domains with one subdomain
  • Set up Site Search
  • Set up 404 tracking


Google Analytics Goals and KPIs Sep Up Solutions

  • Track Events
  • Build URLs
  • Set up goals with Destination URLs
  • Track Facebook page and referrers

In conversations that I have with clients and friends where I go on and on about the effectiveness and the flexibility of WordPress as platforms, the question which usually follows that of the best WordPress plug-ins is to know where to find the best WordPress themes. Having experimented with many premium WordPress themes and installed several professional themes, I have compiled a list of the usual suspects which I visit in my quest for a viable theme for the idea that I am testing in the lab.

http://www.premiumwp.com/

When you do not want to spend a lot of time browsing around. They keep a tally of all the great themes by category. Premium WordPress Themes, templates, and free premium WordPress theme are described and reviewed to help you find a theme to make your WordPress site look great.

The Thesis Theme for WordPress

Thesis is a theme that is ready to go out of the box. Many people who do not care about the design flexibility or the need to create a unique (non-deja-vu) experience would default to Thesis. The selling point of the platform is that it is SEO Ready out of the box. Thesis makes SEO simple, but there is no theme that makes you rank higher than any other, and Thesis does not achieve anything that any other theme with a couple of plug-ins does not. If you are in the market for a rapid and simple solution, this is definitely for you.

http://templatic.com/wordpress-themes-store

For small and large business owners and for, Templatic is a real God-send. The themes are highly advanced and extremely customizable. There are very few non-aggregation websites out there that provide such a diversity of high quality of WordPress themes.

http://www.theme-junkie.com/themes/

I am biased to Theme Junkie. They have been around for a very long time, and I have used every theme they have created. This site is a good for bloggers. The themes are built with a strong emphasis on user experience. They are technical sound and yet require very little knowledge to customize. Their support team is one of the best around.

http://themeforest.net/category/wordpress

The wordpress marketplace by excellence. The variety of selection is impressive. There is something here for everyone. The issue is that because of the popularity of the website, you have to be willing to invest time in testing out multiple demos in order to find what you need. You have to sort out through much fluff to find the gems. Many of the WordPress themes that I have used come from this market place.

 

Other Theme resources are

http://www.studiopress.com/

http://www.solostream.com/ (not really modern)

http://www.wpzoom.com/themes/

http://www.vivathemes.com/

http://themetrust.com/themes

http://www.press75.com/

http://themeshift.com/

http://www.woothemes.com/themes/ (one of the oldest around, they have been around the block)

http://themefuse.com/

http://www.gabfirethemes.com/ (very good for newspapers and magazines)

http://magazine3.com/themes/ (also very good for online mass publications)

http://pressjunkie.net/ (also very good for online mass publications)

http://www.iwakthemes.com/themes/

http://www.appthemes.com/themes/

http://pandathemes.com/ (best for start-ups)

http://www.obox-design.com/themes.cfm

 

 

There are many great plugins available for WordPress . The bright developers in this community continue to make some incredible progress. For those who are in the pursuit of world domination, here is the arsenal that you need. Some of these plugins are so good that when you see them in action, you may actually drool. I have to admit that I am very biased when it comes to WordPress. I love the the way the Open Source community creates plugins for all of us to share. Over the years, I have used many of them, and here are the best WordPress plugins :

Akismet
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. It checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.

All in One SEO Pack
All in One SEO is a gift to WordPress users. It allows you to automatically optimize your WordPress blog for Search Engines.

All in One SEO Pack Importer
For those who have seen the light and have left Thesis. This pluggin imports SEO data from Thesis to All in One SEO Pack.

All in One Video Pack
This is not just another video embed tool – it includes every functionality you might need for video and rich-media, including the ability to upload/ record/import videos directly to your post, edit and remix content with an online video editor, enable video responses, manage and track your video content, create playlists and much more… And Kaltura covers all hosting and streaming costs for FREE up to 10GB.

Avatars
This is the plugin when your users don’t want a global avatar, aren’t IT savvy enough to set a Gravatar up, simply want a private avatar for your blog, or any other reason too.

Broken Link Checker
This plugin will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found.

Capability Manager
A simple way to manage WordPress roles and capabilities. With this plugin you will be able to easily create and manage roles and capabilities. Using it, you will be able to change the capabilities of any role, add new roles, copy existing roles into new ones, and add new capabilities to existing roles. You can also delegate capabilities management to other users.

Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

Custom Admin Branding
The Custom Admin Branding Plugin allows you to brand and customize the WordPress administration area for clients or for personal use. You can display custom images and styles for the login screen, admin header and footer. It should be fairly easy to use for anyone familiar with WordPress and has basic css and html skills.

Dave’s WordPress Live Search
Dave’s WordPress Live Search adds “live search” functionality to your WordPress site. As visitors type words into your WordPress site’s search box, the plugin continually queries WordPress, looking for search results that match what the user has typed so far.

Facebook,Twitter,Google plus one Share Buttons
This simple yet easy-to-use plugin adds facebook,twitter,google +1(plus one) and many other popular social sharing buttons after post contents,such as:Stumbleupon,Linkedin,Digg and Google Buzz.

Facebook Fanbox with CSS
This plugin adds a likebox for your facebook-fanpage to your wordpress-sidebar. I know, there are many plugins to do this, but here you can use your own CSS to style the box for your needs. Its fully customisable via css. Just add the ID of your facebook-fanpage and you are ready to start.

Flickr Photos
Flickr Photos plugin is the perfect and easiest way to show your Flickr pictures on your site. You can also show any Flickr group or public photos too.

Get Recent Comments
This plugin shows excerpts of the latest comments and/or trackbacks in your sidebar. You have comprehensive control about their appearance. This ranges from the number of comments, the length of the excerpts up to the html layout. You can let the plugin order the comments by the corresponding post, or simply order them by date.

Google Custom Search Plugin
WordPress has a relatively good search functionality but tends to get sluggish and doesn’t match keywords that well. This is even more apparent when your site is quite large and you have many posts and/or pages. In addition, wordpress search functionality display results ordered by date and not by its relevance to the keywords.

Google News Sitemap
The Google News XML Sitemap plugin automatically generates a Google News XML sitemap (yourdomain.com/google-news-sitemap.xml) whenever a post is created, updated or deleted. This sitemap needs to be submitted once to Google via Google Webmaster’s Tools. This plugin allows you to include/exclude posts, pages and categories in the Google News sitemap, as well as includes post tags as news keywords.

Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs.

HeadSpace2 SEO
HeadSpace2 is an all-in-one meta-data manager that allows you to fine-tune the SEO potential of your site.

Hello Dolly
Hello Dolly does not do anything. So why does it make it here you ask? Well I am a big fan of Satchmo, and the fact that I can write codes, write posts, or manage my platform, and every frame loads a lyric to this song to me is just priceless.

No Self Pings
Some people really like that WordPress sends pings from your own site to your own site when you write posts; it gives them a trail of related posts. Some people do not like this behavior; it clutters up their comments. This plugin disables intra-blog pinging.

Nofollow Case by Case This is an awesome plugin for Sculpting
Nofollow Case by Case is a Follow Plugin for Comment Author URLs and Comment (text) links. Say no to nofollow without losing control for comment links. As long as you do nothing Nofollow Case by Case automatically strips nofollow from all your comment links and comment author links.

Ozh’ Who Sees Ads
Who Sees Ads is an advanced ad management plugin that lets you decide who will see your ads, for instance Adsense, depending on user defined conditions. You can manage ads in your templates (eg sidebar.php) or within posts and pages.

Postie Post to WordPress Via Email – Awesome Plugin!!!!!!!!!!
The Postie plugin allows you to blog via e-mail, including many advanced features not found in wordpress’s default post by e-mail feature. Postie offers many advanced features for posting to your blog via e-mail, including the ability to assign categories by name, included pictures and videos, and automatically strip off signatures. It also has support for both imap and pop3, with the option for ssl with both.

pageMash
Manage your multitude of pages with pageMash’s slick drag-and-drop style, ajax interface. Allows for quick sorting, hiding and organising of page pare. Customise the order your pages are listed in and manage the parent structure with this simple ajax drag-and-drop administrative interface with an option to toggle the page to be hidden from output. Great tool to quickly re-arrange your page menus.

Google Positioner
With this handy-dandy plugin it is now possible to track your website for your keywords in Google. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about choosing the right keywords. Through various online tools it is possible to generate synonyms and alternatives to build up a possible keyword list for your own website. After creating that list, you can start indexing your website so you can associate the keywords on the relevant webpage.

Regenerate Thumbnails
This plugin allows you to regenerate your thumbnails after changing the thumbnail sizes. Regenerate Thumbnails allows you to regenerate the thumbnails for your image attachments. This is very handy if you’ve changed any of your thumbnail dimensions (via Settings -> Media) after previously uploading images or have changed to a theme with different featured post image dimensions.

Robots Meta
There’s no easy way to add meta robots tags to WordPress pages, unless of course, when you install this plugin. This plugin makes it easy to add the appropriate meta robots tags to your pages, disable unused archives, nofollow unnecessary links

SEO Smart Links
SEO Smart Links provides automatic SEO benefits for your site in addition to custom keyword lists, nofollow and much more. SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. Further SEO Smart links allows you to set up your own keywords and set of matching URLs. Finally SEO Smart links allows you to set nofollow attribute and open links in new window.

SexyBookmarks (by Shareaholic)
Though the name may be a little “edgy” for some, SexyBookmarks has proven time and time again to be an extremely useful and successful tool in getting your readers to actually submit your articles to numerous social bookmarking sites.

Sidebar Login
Sidebar-Login has both a widget and a template tag to allow you to have a login form in the sidebar of your wordpress powered blog. It lets users login, and then redirects them back to the page they logged in from rather than the backend, it also shows error messages.

Simple Google Sitemap XML
Simple Google Sitemap XML generates a valid Google XML sitemap, which can then be used with Google’s Webmaster Tools. This plugin is meant to be simple. It just works!

Simple Tagging
Simple Tagging is another tagging plugin for WordPress: smarter, better, faster :-) Tag Cloud, Related Posts, Related Tags, Tags Tabs (new!) and more.

Social Links Sidebar
Social Links Sidebar is a sidebar widget that displays icon links to your profile pages on other social networking sites.

User Avatar
This plugin provides a thumbnail area in the Your Profile section, where users can upload & crop new images in an overlay and upon cropping the image, the new image will be saved and stored. This gives users with any role the chance to easily upload an image and view their current thumbnail, all in one go

W3 Total Cache
Trusted by countless sites like: mattcutts.com, mashable.com, smashingmagazine.com, makeuseof.com, yoast.com, kiss925.com, pearsonified.com, lockergnome.com, johnchow.com, ilovetypography.com, webdesignerdepot.com, css-tricks.com and tens of thousands of others. Improve site performance and user experience via caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.

WP-PageNavi
This plugin a more advanced paging navigation interface.

WP Super Cache
This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

WordPress Importer
Import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and more from a WordPress export file.

WordPress Popular Posts
WordPress.com Popular Posts lists the most popular posts on a WordPress powered site. This list can be used in the sidebar to show an indication of which are the most visited pages.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
Display a list of related entries on your site and feeds based on a unique algorithm. Templating allows customization of the display.

Yoast Breadcrumbs
Easily add breadcrumbs to your template. If you’re using one of the supported WordPress frameworks, it’s as easy as enabling the plugin and checking the “Try to add automatically box”, if you’re not using one of those, adding it is as simple as adding one line of code to your templat

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