Top WordPress Plugins you must Have!

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This is a much discussed subject but we wanted to share the must have plugins you definitely need to install having first installed WordPress.

Having a whole site running off WP is a much debated topic but the ease of use and endless addons you can install to get your site to do pretty much whatever you like, is just one of the reasons why WP is one of the most used off the shelf content management systems currently available.

  1. NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster

Everyone has either a Twitter or Facebook account and the easiest way to get your blog post shared on either is by using this plugin. Yes WP does it natively, no it’s not the greatest. We use this plugin on every WP site we configure and it’s ease of use and simplicity is why it’s on our list. PS. It does share to so many other websites too…


2. Shareaholic

Everyone loves to share content. This plugin adds cool share buttons to your blog posts and also allows you to monetize your content (optional). We’re mainly including it here due to the buttons, and the ability to customize and use URL shorteners to track click throughs.


3. UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore

We’re surprised that WP doesn’t have native backup tools, allowing you to backup to external cloud storage or FTP sites. We’re sure it’ll come in future updates but for now, this nifty plugin does the trick. The free option gives you the ability to schedule backups to remote storage with completion/failure notifications. A must to ensure that your site’s files and database are backed up safe and sound!


4. Disqus

WordPress’s built in comment system is OK, but not brilliant. It works in the most part but Disqus has been doing a better job of it for a long time. It allows better customization and many more configuration options than included with the basic WP install.


5. Askimet

Everyone hates spam, especially spam comments. We’re sure you’ve been on a site with random comments unrelated to the original post. With this installed that should reduce the amount of spam comments and allow you to better moderate comments posted to your site. This is included by default with the sites but if you’re setting up a custom install make sure to activate it!


6. JetPack

Advanced stats, sharing, and a whole load more. Most of the stuff you need to pay to get the extra features but we just like it for the additional stats. It adds this to the Dashboard and admin bar when an admin is logged in. Worth having for that alone we think.

Again, if you have a site hosted via then this is included by default, but if you’re self hosting you’ll need to add it. We still think it’s worth installing.


How to accept hassle free Direct Debit and card payments

For us, it is really frustrating to see businesses who are still operating but unable to take card payments or direct debit payments for recurring or subscription based products.

We are going to introduce a couple of solutions on this post.

We are not affiliated with either business and only writing this post to help other like minded small businesses and hope you find the information useful.

  1. Go Cardless. If your business offers regular and recurring invoices for services or products that are charged weekly, monthly, or annually then this service will probably be a good fit for you.

We use this service as it’s integrated with our accounting platform Quickfile.  You can set it up easily to receive payments from customers on your invoices. It gives us the opportunity to set up the payment via Direct Debit.

For more information and to see an overview click here



2.  SumUp. If you want to take card payments with no subscription or line rental, wherever you are (great for stationary stores or for mobile sellers, market stalls, pop up shops and more) then this solution is great.

Albeit, the majority of payments we take are still by cheque (or PayPal), we do have and use the app provided by SumUp occasionally. It ties in well with our accounting software, see above, and allows you to take card payments with no hassle whatsoever.

There are some restrictions, such as countries you can use the product, but for the UK, there is no problem at all.

When we first signed up, there was no requirement for the card reader, and I believe we still have the original product, so have to check if that still works… will update the blog when I have checked!

Ultimately, there is no reason at all, why any business has to limit itself by not accepting direct debit or card payments! Both the above provide mobile apps for Apple and Android and therefore catering for just about anyone.

Why you shouldn’t pay for PC security

We are firm believers that you shouldn’t have to pay for antivirus security for your PC or Mac.

If the manufacturers of the operating system have left it vulnerable in any way then they should be the ones that pay or there should be free alternatives. So, without further a do, here is some great free software you can use to keep your computer secure.

With Mac, viruses aren’t so much the issue as is malware, this is generally due to the way the OS is developed (and based on Unix).


For a little while now Microsoft have provided free software in the form of Microsoft Security Essentials, and now Windows Defender, which is built in and updates when Windows updates. So cancel your annual Anti-virus subs and download this instead!


Note; this is for Windows 7. If you have 8 or newer it’s built in and you don’t need to worry.

Mac: We have provided links to a couple of great AV packages for Mac previously! See the following: Free Antivirus For Mac

On checking these are probably still on top. Don’t hang around and test either today!


We always recommend using Malwarebytes Free too to use in addition to the above and this can be used once a week or month just to make sure your computer is protected.



How to create a Twitter bot using Bot Libre

We have recently been involved with creating some Twitter bots to help us save time by automatically tweeting at set times. Although there are services that allow you to do this they do charge for full functionality whereas this service is free.

To create the bot you can use the steps given on the following page here: Bot Libre Twitter bot

We have so far created 3 and it saves a lot of time, we only use the feature of automatically tweeting but there is an endless feature set.

Let us know what you use yours for?