Yoast WordPress Plugin Review

If you are going to use WordPress to manage your web presence (why would you use anything else?), you need Yoast.  Yoast is mostly known as an SEO optimizer plugin, but it does much, much more.  Many indexing tasks are automated, making your site structure sleek and well organized.

There are two versions of the software, and the basic plugin is free.  You get most of the features of the Pro version, and if you are a blogger that isn’t trying to make money, then it is great.  If you are competing for search engine ranks in the content monetization wars, you’ll need the extra keyword support and other features that the Pro version supports.  There are a ton of analytic tools that can make spotting errors—and then fixing them—quick and painless.  Once complex tasks like laboriously building XML sitemaps are built into the Yoast functionality, and you won’t even realize they are there unless you dig amongst the many features included in the software.   If you have no idea what SEO is, you should probably install Yoast and leave everything on the default settings while you watch the tutorial videos on the Yoast website.  Of, course there are tons of YouTube videos available as well; with over 1,000,000 active installs, Yoast has no shortage of fans.

In addition to being my number one pick for WordPress Plugins, the Yoast site is awesome in its own regard.  There are tons of helpful tutorials and help documents that can help you de-stress the learning curve when it comes to SEO and WordPress administration.  If you do decide to upgrade to Pro, you may run into problems uploading the upgrade files unless you tweak your settings on the server.   WPThemeSpeed has a YouTube video to show you how to fix this for GoDaddy customers.

Useful Fee Software for Online Teaching and Learning

If you are teaching online with a small budget and a paucity of registered software products, the following fee programs may be of assistance.

http://word2cleanhtml.com/

This web resource can take Microsoft Word documents and convert them to “clean” HTML documents, with the tons of special formatting removed.  Works via cut and paste.  If you are blackboard user, you know documents that you cut and paste from Word look absolutely terrible.  That is because Word is adding a ton of hidden code to your text, and Blackboard is trying to convert all of that extra stuff into HTML.  This program cleans it up, and you can simply paste it into Blackboard using the HTML tool.


Audacity

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.  This software allows you to record and edit sound files.


BlueGriffon

BlueGriffon is a new WYSIWYG content editor for the World Wide Web. Powered by Gecko, the rendering engine of Firefox, it’s a modern and robust solution to edit Web pages in conformance to the latest Web Standards.


FileZilla

FTP files easily to your server.


CamStudio

CamStudio is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)