Archives for March 2013

My Favorite WordPress Premium Plugins

Over the years I have used a lot of WordPress plugins. From free, to paid, chances are at some point in my WordPress career I’ve probably tried it. Below is a list of my current favorite premium plugins for WordPress.


Gravity Forms – Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past 3 years, you’ve probably heard of Gravity Forms. Arguably the most successful premium plugin, Gravity Forms is hands down the best WordPress plugin for content and submission forms of all types. Not only is Gravity Forms amazingly easy to create contact forms, it does so much more. One of my favorite uses for GF is to create a form for content submission. A visitor to the website can easily fill out the form fields and that data is submitted and saved as a post or custom post type entry. This includes the post categories, metadata, images (including setting it to a featured image) and more.

That’s just one small example of what this extremely powerful plugin can do. You can even extend the feature set using a number of Gravity From add-ons. Since its release, I have never built a WordPress site that wasn’t using Gravity Forms.

BackupBuddy – One of the first tips you hear when learning how to use a computer is save often and make backups. Running a website is no different. How would you feel if you lost all of the content you’ve created on your WordPress site over the years? One word, terrible.

BackupBuddy is the leading automated backup plugin for WordPress. You can easily create a schedule backup (nightly, weekly, monthly, etc) to generate a full (database + files) backup of your WordPress website. The backup generated can also be sent offsite via FTP, Email, Amazon S3, Dropbox, and more. What good is a backup if it’s stored on the same server as your website, right? If you are serious about your WordPress website, make sure you have solid backups using BackupBuddy.

WP All Import – A lesser known premium plugin that I absolutely love is WP All Import. If you do a lot of content migrations into WordPress, like I do, stop everything you are doing and go buy this plugin. WP All Import makes it incredibly simple to import data into WordPress from a CSV or XML file.

The plugin features a nice drag and drop interface to map the data to the appropriate fields in WordPress. You can easily import content, metadata, taxonomies, images (which are side-loaded to the post created), dates, and more. WP All Import also features some more advanced features like support for processing massive import files, recurring imports, updating existing imports, and filtering data based on specific criteria. This plugin has literally changed our process for migration projects to WordPress.

Soliloquy – If you create a lot of websites using WordPress, chances are you’ve also tried a lot of different sliders or rotators to feature content. Well your search for the best WordPress slider has ended, enter Soliloquy. ( Side note: This is the one plugin on this list I can never pronounce correctly 😛 )

This premium plugin, is in my opinion, the best WordPress slider on the market. Not only is it dead simple to use, but is completely responsive out of the box. The plugin allows you to create an unlimited number of sliders using a custom post type. You can easily embed those sliders in your posts, pages, or in a sidebar using the included slider widget. Not only does Soliloquy support images, as you would expect, but it also fully supports videos as well. This plugin also features a nice set of add-ons to integrate additional functionality into Soliloquy.


There you have it, a list of my current favorite premium plugins for WordPress. To be fair, this isn’t an exhaustive list of every premium plugin I use, but these are the plugins I use most often.

As an added bonus, every premium plugin I listed here is licensed under the GPL software license, which is the same license WordPress is released under. If you use any of these plugins (and I think you should be using all of them) I promise you will not be disappointed.

You probably also noticed there are no affiliate links in this post. In the words of Don Davis “I don’t want to make any money. I just love to sell guns plugins.”

WordCamps I’ve Attended

Recently we decided to create a new page on WebDevStudios.com highlighting all of the ways WDS team members contribute back to the WordPress Community. One of the items we highlighted is WordCamp presentations.

I sat down and listed out every WordCamp I have attended since my first one in 2009. I also noted which events I presented at and co-organized.

2009

WordCamp Mid-Atlantic – presented
WordCamp Montreal – presented
WordCamp Chicago
WordCamp NYC – presented

2010

WordCamp Boston – presented
WordCamp Chicago – presented
WordCamp Raleigh – presented
WordCamp San Francisco
WordCamp Mid-Atlantic – presented
WordCamp Philly – presented / co-organized

2011

WordCamp Phoenix – presented
WordCamp Boston
WordCamp Raleigh – presented
WordCamp San Francisco – presented
WordCamp Philly – presented / co-organized
WordCamp Las Vegas – presented

2012

WordCamp San Diego – presented
WordCamp Baltimore – presented
WordCamp NYC – presented
WordCamp Philly – presented / co-organized

Misc Events

BlogWorld Expo Las Vegas 2010
BlogWorld Expo NYC 2011
South by Southwest 2011
Pressnomics 2012
WordPress Community Summit 2012

I’ve always enjoyed attending WordCamps and tech events. If you’ve never attended a WordCamp I highly recommend it. The amount of knowledge gained in 1-day of WordCamp is unmatched.

My plan is to create a custom section on my site to help track events I’ve attended, presentation slides, and videos if available.