This page is still very much a work in progress, but below you can see some of the stuff I use most often. I will eventually add reviews of all of these.
All of the premium tools below I paid for with my own money and use regularly. I would never promote something I didn’t use myself.
Feel free to contact me if you need any help with these or if you have any questions.
PREMIUM WORDPRESS THEMES
I’m something of a premium theme collector. I’ve got Thesis, Genesis, Headway, Frugal, and several of the Woo Themes. Below are my two favorites.
Thesis – This is the theme I use for website and blog I make. It’s uber customizable. The support community is huge. There are tutorials online for pretty much everything you’d ever want to do. There’s a reason it’s the most popular premium theme in the world! If you only buy one WordPress theme, this should be it. I paid the $150 for the developer’s version and have never once looked back. It’s that good. Go check out Thesis!
Headway – I recently bought Headway and am pretty impressed with it so far. I think it’s a better option than Thesis for WordPress beginners and the non-technically inclined. Go check out Headway!
Popup Domination – Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that it increases newsletter opt-ins. I discuss it a little bit in this post. Here’s how it works: Whenever someone new comes to your site, an in-browser popup appears (it doesn’t open a new window or tab) and shows your newsletter opt-in offer. This has DEFINITELY helped me grow my list. Bottom line: it works. Go check out Popup Domination!
MaxBlogPress Subscribers Magnet – I recently bought this and am very pleased with it so far. I use this to 1) insert a newsletter subscription form to the end of ever post in m RSS feed, 2) auto-fill the newsletter opt-in form in my sidebar with the person’s name and email address (if they’ve left a comment), and 3) run the little opt-in check box by the comments. Go check out Subscribers Magnet!
Market Samurai – After Thesis, this is the single best purchase I’ve made in my blogging career. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for keyword research, sizing up your SEO competition, tracking your blog’s Google (or Yahoo! or Bing) ranking, and way, way more. My only regret is that it took me so long to buy the freaking thing. Seriously, it’s awesome. Go check out Market Samurai!
TweetAttacks – I use this to find and follow a lot of people at a time on Twitter, and I love it! I’ve got the Lite version, and it suits my needs just fine. Go check out TweetAttacks!
AWeber – AWeber is what I use to manage my email list. It’s easy to set up and very user friendly. The best part is that AWeber has been around since 1998; they’re not some here-today-gone-tomorrow company. Moreover, all the biggest names in blogging and internet marketing use AWeber. It’s also compatible with tons of other plugins and apps that let you integrate your website or blog with your newsletter. In short… This is really the only way to go, in my opinion. Go check out AWeber!
Publish Confirmation – This is my plugin, so I’m putting it first! Whenever you click “Publish” on a post, a dialog box pops up asking you if you’re SURE you want to publish the post. This is to prevent you from accidentally pressing the Publish button and posting an article before it’s ready. Click here to view screenshots and more info, and click here to download it at WordPress.org.
CommentLuv – Displays the commenter’s most recent post right under their comment. Download here.
Contact Form 7 – This is the contact form I use on my Contact Me page. Download here.
Flickr-slideshow-wrapper – This is what I use for the Flickr photo slideshow on my About Me page. Download here.
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin (aka GASP) – The comment spam solution that I use. The commenter only has to check the “I’m not a spammer” box. MUCH better than CAPTCHA. Download here.
KeywordLuv – Let’s the commenter’s link back to their site be keywords instead of his/her name. Download here.
Page Links To – Makes it so that I can include a page, blog post, or any other site in my nav menu. Download here.
Ranged Popular Posts Widget – This is what I use for the Popular Posts sidebar widget. Download here.
Really Simple CAPTCHA – The CAPTCHA that integrates with Contact Form 7. Download here.
ReplyMe – You know how when I reply to your comment here on Blogging Bookshelf, you get an email with that reply in it? I use this plugin for that. Download here.
Simple URLs – I use this to mask my affiliate links. It gives them the format thebacklight.com/go/PRODUCTNAME. I recently purchased Ninja Affiliate and will be switching over to that soon. Download here. (I had a question about how to use this plugin, so I created a little PDF document that covers how to use it.)
Socialize – The plugin I use for the TweetMeme button and the social media sharing box that is after every blog post. Download here.
Top Commentators Widget – This is what I use for the Top Commenters widget in the sidebar. Download here.
Ultimate Category Excluder – I use this to keep my Daily Blogging Diary posts from showing up in the RSS feed. Download here.
Ultimate Google Analytics – A simple plugin that makes it easy to insert your Google Analytics code. Download here.