Best Premium WordPress Themes
There are thousands of WordPress themes available for you to use, paid and free, but premium WordPress themes will take you a lot further. I use Thesis Theme for WordPress on BizChickBlogs.com.
I try to recommend premium themes for people who are NOT designers or developers. The themes I recommend can be installed and easily customized without the help of someone like me (ironic, huh?) Ultimately I want to provide you with best, most manageable blog possible. Yet, these themes come with places for you to alter and add hooks as necessary, allowing even designers ultimate flexibility (which is why I choose them for client blogs).
Thesis Theme for WordPress
I use Thesis Theme for WordPress on my site WebbedInkInc.com, and a number of other sites I’ve put together including SaucyGlossie.com, ThoughtshotConsulting.com, Wise-Orchid.com, and many more. Thesis is the ultimate blog theme, and its forum is unmatched in terms of help. You can ask for help creating just about any look you want. I suggest getting this theme and the developer license. As your business grows, you will create more than one site for various uses and Thesis theme is a great way to do that.
All of UpThemes’ themes are beautiful, elegantly designed and easy to manage. They even have a free theme which is used on one of the awesome food blogs I reported on, Gallery (and they have Gallery Pro which is more advanced). The themes are really inexpensive and well worth it.
I signed up for Elegant Themes yearly subscription because I couldn’t justify NOT spending just $19 a year for access to such amazing themes. Check out their Resume theme – for $19, if you’re a blogger who’s also job hunting you might try that out. It, along with all of their other themes is awesome.
Best WordPress Plugins
This list will never stop growing. I’ve started with a list of WordPress plugins I have installed here at BizChickBlogs and will update this shortly with the WordPress plugins I’ve used on client sites as well.
New! Keyword Winner
This plugin is awesome for bloggers who are in smaller niches, or for bloggers who use their blogs to make money. Watch the video on the Keyword Winner home page.
I optimize all of my sites using Scribe. I wouldn’t go a day without it now that I have it. Scribe SEO is a plugin that helps you optimize your pages and posts for your target primary keywords. It will also suggest internal and external places for you to link to your content from.
- Akismet Anti-Spam: Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.” | Visit site
- Simple Trackback Validation: Eliminates spam trackbacks by (1) checking if the IP address of the trackback sender is equal to the IP address of the webserver the trackback URL is referring to and (2) by retrieving the web page located at the URL used in the trackback and checking if the page contains a link to your blog. | Visit site
Blog Promotion/Social Media/Commenting
- IntenseDebate: A new favorite of mine. Works flawlessly on WordPress blogs, and allows commenters to use their WordPress.com, IntenseDebate or OpenID account. Can be installed on either WordPress or Blogger blogs (and possibly others; just go check).
- DISQUS: Best for BRAND NEW WordPress or Blogger blogs. If you have an existing blog, it doesn’t always import all of your past comments, which is a big pain in the rear. I will update this page when that bug is fixed but it’ll stay here until then because it’s an important note.
- SexyBookmarks: SexyBookmarks adds a (X)HTML compliant list of social bookmarking icons to each of your posts. | Visit site
- CommentLuv: Plugin to show a link to the last post from the commenters blog by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment. Rewards your readers and encourage more comments. | Visit site
- Post Signature: Appends the author’s display name to posts and/or pages. Useful for multi-author blogs that are crossposted elsewhere, such as LiveJournal or Facebook. | Visit site
- Simple Feed Copyright: Adds a simple copyright notice at end of full text articles in your feed. | Visit sit
- Subscribe To Comments: Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. | Visit site
- TweetMeme Retweet Button: Adds a button which easily lets you retweet your blog posts. | Visit site
- What Would Seth Godin Do: Displays a custom welcome message to new visitors and another to return visitors. | Visit site
- WPing.FM: Updates Ping.FM when you create, edit, or update a blog post. Based upon the Microblog Updater and inspired by PingPress.fm. | Visit site
Sitemap and Ping List
- Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger: Replaces the built-in ping/notify functionality. Pings only when publishing new or future posts, not when editing. The new post’s url is pinged, not the main url. Also includes reverse order logfile. | Visit site
Performance, Backup and Analytics
- WP Super Cache: Very fast caching plugin for WordPress. | Visit site
- WordPress Database Backup: On-demand backup of your WordPress database. | Visit site
- WordPress.com Stats: Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks. Requires a WordPress.com API key. | Visit site
- WP-ContactForm: WP Contact Form is a drop in form for users to contact you. It can be implemented on a page or a post. | Visit site
- Meta SEO Pack: Fine tune your WordPress blog for SEO: title rewriting, meta descriptions, tags, robots, canonical links and more. Out-of-the-box settings are a good starting point for blogs. | Visit site
- Scribe SEO: Scribe makes SEO simple. Click here to watch the Scribe for WordPress demo video.
- ILWP Simple Link Cloaker: Maintains a list of ‘cloaked’ URLs for redirection to outside URLs | Visit site
Writing and Publishing Posts
- RB Internal Links: Link to other blog posts and pages without specifying the full URL. Uses a UI to ease finding the post or page you want to link to. | Visit site
- wp-copyrighted-post: Adds copyright notice in the end of each post of your blog. | Visit site
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin: Returns a list of related entries based on a unique algorithm for display on your blog and RSS feeds. A templating feature allows customization of the display. | Visit site
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