ShortPixel

Automatically resizes and compresses any image you upload to make your site FAST!

Why we recommend Short Pixel: We spent many years resizing images in Photoshop and messing with compression settings to get the smallest-size images on our sites, and then we tried ShortPixel to save time.  Not only was ShortPixel a huge time saver, it also made the images about 40% smaller than what we could do in Photoshop with the same visual image quality.  I was an immediate fan.  We use it on every single site we own.

If I could only have one WordPress plugin, it’d be ShortPixel.  Hands down.

What they could do to improve:  The first time you buy image resizing credits, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you chew through credits.  For each image, they make all the sizes you could want (thumbnails, etc), so each image uses like 9 credits.  But still, it’s SOOOOO incredibly cheap that it barely even matters.  For most bloggers, if you get a 30,000 credit pack, it’ll last you a year.  That’s a BARGAIN for the service they provide and the bandwidth that must take to do that for you.  Also, they give you some credits for free each month which is really nice. 

Compared to the competition: We originally used Imagify for image resizing and compression, but we found smaller file sizes with still nice-looking images with Short Pixel, plus we saw Google Pagespeed Insights give us a bump for the improved file formatting on Short Pixel.  Imagify is a good plugin, but we preferred Short Pixel.

 

ManageWP

It. Does. So. Much!  Updating a network of sites with a click, cheap backups, etc.

Why we recommend ManageWP:  This one plugin actually does several things for us.  We use it for uptime monitoring (we get a notification as soon as the site goes down), backups (absolutely critical), and sometimes for monitoring our rankings for particular search phrases.

ManageWP isn’t free, but it’s incredibly cheap.  For $2/site/month, you get a FULL backup of the ENTIRE site (not just article content like some backups do.  Yes, we know our host has redundant backups, but I would never feel safe not having MY OWN daily backup of my site.  That $2/month is the best money I spend as a blogger.

The other cool thing about ManageWP (And this part is totally free) is you can connect up all your WordPress sites onto one dashboard on ManageWP.  I click ONE button on my ManageWP dashboard and I can update all the plugins/themes across all my sites.  You can also connect your Google Analytics and get a cool report of ALL your sites’ traffic in one spot.  That’s a quick way to spot issues without checking your analytics on 10 sites every single day.

 What they could do to improve: The interface on their site is a bit confusing.  I’m used to it now, but it took me a while to figure it out.  This is what happens when developers do their own UI 🙂

Compared to the competition: I honestly don’t know of another service that does quite what ManageWP does.  There are certainly backup plugins and such, but this does a LOT with one tiny little lightweight plugin.

 

Important legal notice: This post contains affiliate links.  We are compensated for many of our product recommendations.  Income School is a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, as well as affiliate programs including Bluehost, WPX, SendInBlue, Shortpixel, and others.  While we are always careful to only recommend the products we use and recommend, we want to be open and transparent about our relationship with companies we recommend.

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