Your site can’t do it all on it’s own.

How helpers help websites that help themselves to these services.

In keeping and maintaining a website there are several things that I recommend doing to get the best out of what you’ve got.  Like anything we own that requires maintenance, a car, a house, pets, we rely on other professional services to do the job far better than we could do ourselves.In the web-world I refer to these as helper services. Helper services are there to bring optimal performance and ease of use (for you and your visitors) to your site. They all requires you to at the very least sign in, so there will be more user names and passwords to remember, and while there are many paid for services that are very good I’ve tried to limit the services mentioned to the ones that are free (or nearly free).

There are all sorts of helper services once you start to think about it.

Back-up

Nearly all the WordPress back-up plugins I’ve encountered depend upon a Cloud backup service. Many use their own proprietary service, which for the most part cost. Some services such as Vault Press, BuddyPress and BackupWP seem very good for what they offer, but their fee is something to consider. The cloud services which can interface with WordPress via a backup plugin are:

These services  can also be used to store online large files such as video or sound files. These files can then be linked up to your site without having to import them to the Media Library. There  is a good review of most of the ‘cloud servers’ for off-site storage at Gizmodo.

Google Analytic and Google Webmaster

Similar but different, both very useful Google Analytics will give you an overview and graph of the traffic that comes to your website. This will  help you get an idea if you are actually getting seen and will help give you ideas of how to improve your site to try to reach your target audience better.
With a Google Webmaster account you get your site tied into Google’s powerful resource for measuring site visits and key word searches. An essential tool for evaluating and improving the SEO potential of your site. There are several plugins that work with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster.

Interface

This is my catch-all phrase to cover all the other Helper Services that can benefit you and your website.

  • Mailchimp or Benchmark (Mailing, newsletter services)
  • Flickr or Photobucket (Online photo services) If you have a predominately gallery or portfolio site I recommend using a photo service to not only expand your storage capacity but provide an alternate viewing portal for people to discover your images.
  • Facebook and Twitter – The two main social networks, not to exclude the others that do similar things. There are tons of plugins for WordPress that work with your Facebook and or Twitter account so why not take advantage of the potential for new visitors to your website. By having a Facebook page linked up to your site you will see more folks visiting.

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