Niche Store Builder Webmaster Tools
Listed below are categorized sections of Niche Store Building Tools that I use almost daily, and will be helpful to you. Some of them are free resources, some require an email sign-up, and some are commercial. You can safely assume that if it’s a commercial resource, I have included an affiliate code in the referral link that leads you there. Someone has to make a dime, it might as well be me right?
Anyhow… for anyone interested in building their own website, the tools will come in handy! Whether you are building a local small business website, a niche affiliate product review site or even a service and review site!
I DID NOT let the affiliate aspect influence my choice to include them here and they would be listed with or without! In fact, you will find several that HAVE affiliate programs that I didn’t even join to list them here!
Note: This list is in a constant state of change, so I suggest you sign up to receive free email notifications every time I add a new article or product review to the website.
The web is full of places where you can learn about building your own niche site. Unfortunately, and very much like this site, it’s not always organized in the easiest way to read and follow along the progression of how you should be building!
The resources in this section are electronic guides and ebooks… more than they are websites. They are some of the best starting points you will find!
- N1Way Guide Blueprint – If you want to build a product review type site, this 9-step site building guide lays it all out in a great and easy to follow format! I suggest everyone start by reading the bonus section first! Many people did not like the way Adam and Kelvin left BANS to its own… and refused to buy this guide. IMHO, it’s one of the best out there for anyone into building niche sites and if it was released before BANS, … well it would still be around strong as ever!
- Revenue Domains Exposed – This short and quick ebook is designed to help you get high quality, aged, and valuable domain names! It has helped me find more domain names than I care to imagine!
- Kick Ass Keywords – One of the best books you will find for learning how to target the right keywords!
- WordTracker Link Building Masterclass – (Commercial learning course) From the leader in keyword research!
Domain Registrars are the keepers of your www.domainname.com. There are MANY (registrar list) that are out there and you really just need to decide which one you like for yourself. I like GoDaddy better than others because of the easy to use management system and the fact that I can have 10 GD accounts and group domains.
Tip: Use domain registrars for the NAME SYSTEM only! In other words, separate your website hosting from your domain registrar! When you are in the process of registering your domain, they are going to try and sell you everything under the sun… Hosting, Parking, Advertising, SEO, Site Building, you name it.
Stick to using the registrar as a registrar only and you will do good!
- GoDaddy <<< My own favorite!
- Network Solutions (One of the Originals, cost more)
Hosting, or website hosting, is no more than a remote server computer, that was setup… optimized and designed for one thing, to serve up websites! In most cases, anyone getting started with niche site building will do fine with an inexpensive shared hosting plan, like the Baby plan at HostGator.
Several years ago, like the late 90’s, hosting used to make quite a bit of difference and you were limited to small storage spaces with little to no resources. Now, most of the more popular hosting companies offer so much in their most basic plans, that unless you plan to run an ecommerce site or something with a lot of video, you will do fine!
- HostGator – Hostgator > Web Hosting > Baby Plan (47.95/mo)
- 1&1 Hosting -1&1 > Hosting > Linux Hosting > 1&1 Home Plan ($6.99/mo)
- EnterHost – Windows based hosting!
One of the first steps in getting a domain and website started is the research! The tools below each have a place in my heart, but if I had to choose my own fav’s, it would without doubt be the top 3 listed! MNF for opportunities, WordTracker for fine tuning and Terapeak for products and sales data from eBay!
Each has a place… and I own or use all of them at different times!
- Micro Niche Finder – MNF takes a 45 minute process of researching a market, looking for a domain name, checking competition and finding high-value phrases to launch with… and turns it into a 2 minute task! Of course there is much more to it than than, but I was a MNF holdout for a long time… what a waste of a year that was! More than just a keyword tool, it is the swiss army knife of tools for niche building!
- WordTracker – WordTracker, in my opinion, is still one of the most trustworthy keyword research tools you will find out there! With the data from engine being washed down as much as possible, I still find WT the best for raw research!
- TeraPeak – If you plan on building any kind of site promoting eBay products (ePN) or running your own eBay store… TeraPeak is a MUST! With actual sales figures, trend data and just about everything you want to know about an eBay seller… it is the one single source of analytical sales data you need to survive!
- Google – Do I need to say more?
Content Management Systems
A CMS or content management system is a tool or framework used to build your website. In my opinion, there is only one that matters right now… and you can install it in 1 minute with most good hosting plans (Including the ones listed above)
WordPress themes are kinda like the new way they paint race cars… instead of mixing paint, they simply “wrap” them with a new skin. WP Themes are the same… a skin for your website.
Some are VERY advanced, and the only real way to get all the features you may want is to have a bit of custom coding done. If you want something that’s not included, drop me a message in the contact form, I have been a coder for +15 years and its still where my heart lies! :-)
My Absolute favorite themes come from:
- StudioPress – Bryan Gardner has always had some of the best themes out there in my opinion! While they may not have all the dumbed-down features that the next one has, they offer the PERFECT mix of speed, ease of use, and flexibility.
- Arthemia – One of the most flexible I found for several years… It even powers the framework behind THIS site!
- Socrates Theme - If you are a beginner… the Socrates theme is the one for you! With hundreds of built in banners, headers, images and a point and click method of setting it up, you cannot lose!
Plugins are the lifeblood of WordPress, allowing you to extend the system and do so much more! The way they are simple… you load it into your administration panel, activate it, and start using it! (Can’t not see the benefits and ease?!)
There are plugins for just about everything… listed below are my own favorites, along with what they are best for!
Base Installation Plugins – Those that I Install on EVERY WordPress site
You can learn why I install several of these by reading the 8 Essential WordPress Plugins article.
- All in One SEO – Quick, Flexible and Easy base SEO for your WP powered site!
- OIO Publisher – (Commercial Plugin) Manages all ad sections of the site, including rotators, selling ad space, etc
- Google XML Sitemaps (I install but don’t activate until site launch)
- W3 Total Cache – I used to love SuperCache, W3 takes it all to the next level!
- OZH Horizontal Menu (New)
- Redirection for WordPress – MUST HAVE!
- WP Stats (Free stats plugin from WordPress)
- WP Database Backup – Get daily backups emailed to your inbox!
- Akismet Antispam – WordPress’ own antispam tool.
- Contact Form 7 – Powerful as heck for creating all kinds of custom forms! :-)
- WordPress Search Meter – Lets you know what people are searching for on your site. (aka lets you know what kind of new content to add)
SEO Add-On Plugins
Although the basics are covered in the AIOSEO plugin listed above, there are some added tools that can make your life much easier!
- SEOPressor SEO Plugin – (Commercial Plugin) This is like having an SEO Coach looking over your shoulder as you write, helping you get the most value from your content! Read the full seopressor review.
Product Review and Affiliate Site Plugins
- GD Star Ratings – Free and easy to use star rating for posts
- WP Review Site – (Commercial Plugin) Advanced and Highly Flexible Commercial review site and rating plugin
- phpBay & phpZon – (Commercial Plugin) For product review sites with eBay and Amazon listings
- ReviewAzon – (Commercial Plugin) For strict Amazon product review websites
WordPress Content Plugins
We all have our favorite places for developing traffic and links right? Whether its with article marketing, social bookmarking, forum sig’s, whatever.
Listed below are some of my favorites!
- Pingler – Great way to get a new site found quickly! Just a B&P Tool
- Backlink Builder Service – If you have any interest in outsourcing some of your process of link dev, this place is a steady performer!
- Drop My Site – Too many good things to say about this tool, use it to find valuable link partners!
- WordTracker Link Building Masterclass – (Learning course) From the leader in keyword research!
- BMD – aka Bookmark Demon (Commercial tool for social bookmarking!) helps you build and manage social profile bookmarking.
- SEOLV – Membership based Article Directory (Push or Pull) with a built in spin tool.
- EzineArticles – Article Directory with VERY LONG Legs! Published articles tend to be picked up by authority sites!
The tools below are just utility type pages that will help you do various things (of varying importance)
- Website Size and Load Speed Utility – Want to see how fast 9or slow) your site loads and why? Pingdom has an awesome file by file tool.
- CSS Compression Tool – Helps you clean up a finished css file and crunch it down to smaller size! I normally see a 25-50% size reduction in css file size, which results in speed increases!