The Netmeg Toolbox
Here you'll find a reviews and links for bunch of tools that I find invaluable. Everything here is something I personally use, and if there's a fee or purchase price, I've bought it, with my own money, at full price. In some cases there are affiliate links (here's my disclosure), and in some cases there are not. But in every case, if I can't vouch for it (or give an honest first-hand opinion) then it won't show up here.
If any of that bothers you or makes you distrustful, why then, don't click on any links.
Last week, the WordPress 3.4.2 update was released. My normal routine is to set aside the better portion of a day to back up, then update the WordPress (and plugins), of the ridiculous number of WordPress sites I maintain for myself, some friends and family, and a selection of clients. Oh and a few sites in various stages of development and yet more sites created just to test stuff. All told, we're talking a lot of sites.
WordPress Updates x Number of Sites = PITA
As you can imagine, keeping all these sites updated, backed up, and functional is a pain. And of course, you have to do it. You do keep your sites up to date, right?
Even though I'd heard of tools for managing multiple WordPress sites, I never really considered putting my sites into one. Mostly because I was under the (mistaken) impression that in order to use them, I would need to change my hosting. I don't want to change my hosting. After horrific WordPress hosting experiences on FIVE substandard hosts, I am more than happy with Tiger Tech; they have better-than-extreme customer service, are optimized for WordPress, and can deal calmly with my weird and drastic seasonal traffic spikes (not to mention my emotional spikes). 98% of my sites and my client sites are in Tiger Tech, and I would prefer they stay there.
This year, we've grown so much and been so busy, it was clear that something had to change. My kick ass developer partner put his foot down, and said we really needed to streamline this operation or we'd fall behind. So at his suggestion, I told him I'd check out ManageWP, but that if it required changing hosting, it wasn't gonna happen.
I was on the site about five minutes before I thought “Where has THIS been all my life?”
While I have all the mad PPC skillz one could ask for, landing pages are my Achilles heel. I come from a programming/marketing background – no design at all. Of course there is a perfectly valid argument that PPC marketing types shouldn't be designing landing pages too, and I don't disagree, but I'm a full service consultant specializing in extreme customer service; my small business clients trust and expect me to get the job done, whether I have to do it, buy it, or hire it.
So I either use an existing site page, or cobble up something mediocre to make do. Most of them are okay, but not great. And real landing page experts are usually outside the budget.
Even if I had real landing page experts at my disposal – there's also the issue of shoe-horning a good landing page layout into an existing WordPress theme or shopping cart software. If I'm trying to send someone hurtling face first into my sales funnel I definitely don't want to distract him with my entire site navigation, headers, footers, social media buttons, widgets, and whatever else I've got going on. I want a nice clean page that features my offer to its best advantage and a big ole call to action. And that's it.