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Tools

This is a list of apps, plugins, and tools used to build this site. I personally use and recommend each of the items on this page. I'll occasionally update this list as I find new tools.

Some of these links are affiliate links—I get a small commission when you click my link below and purchase an item. You still get the lowest price whether you use my link or not, but I appreciate it if you do use my link. Running a website costs money (hosting, domain name, plugins, etc.) and time so the commissions do help, but please only purchase these items if you think they'll provide value to you.

Web Hosting

Affiliate Marketing

  • Take a look at my post on WordPress Affiliate Marketing Programs for a list of sites you can use to monetize and enrich your site.
  • Long Tail Pro will help you find keywords and do keyword research for your blog posts and niche websites. You can also use Soovle to find related words.

WordPress Plugins

I'm updating this list. I switched from WordPress to Ghost and I have a little bit of maintenance to do.


I've listed a few posts detailing WordPress plugins for affiliate marketing—here are some of the premium plugins I've paid for which I recommend and use:

  • WP Sharely for encouraging social sharing to unlock content on your site
  • Soliloquy really is the best responsive WordPress slider plugin
  • LeadPlayer is the best tool for adding overlays to YouTube videos including embedding a call to action (CTA) links
  • Genesis Framework is a framework of search-engine optimized mobile-responsive themes built with security, performance, and flexibility in mind.
  • Author hReview is a plug-in that allows you to easily add product review pages to your WordPress site running on the Genesis Framework. It's the plugin that allows your site to easily display your rating (as stars) in Google search results
  • Easyazon is a tool for creating customized Amazon affiliate links in 3 easy steps
  • Better WP Security helps you protect your WordPress site from attackers. I get a few emails per month from this plugin where it blocked an IP attempting a brute-force login attempt
  • Google XML Sitemaps is my preferred site map plugin. Yoast SEO has a built-in site map plugin generator but I prefer the ease of use of this tool
  • W3 Total Cache is a free caching plugin for WordPress which works standalone, but also integrates with Amazon S3
  • WP Smush.it is a free plugin that optimizes the size of your image uploads. I also use TinyPNG to reduce the size of PNG files before upload
  • YARPP is a free WordPress plugin for displaying related posts at the bottom of your page

On my list...

I have a few plugins which I've done research on but haven't purchased yet because I haven't justified the need for them—yet. But here they are:

- Popup Domination is a WordPress plugin that creates lightbox popups which you can tie into email signup pages ($77) - Backup Buddy is one of the top WordPress backup plugins available ($80-$247)

Websites

This is a list of useful WordPress, affiliate marketing, and web development tools.

  • TinyPNG is a website for reducing the size of PNG files
  • Pingdom Website Speed Test can tell you if and help you determine why your site is running too slow
  • Button Optimizer helps you generate free call-to-action (CTA) buttons for your website using CSS
  • FreeWho allows you to check domain ownership—but I use it for checking to see when a domain that is pending deletion will actually drop. I used FreeWho to acquire 2 domains this way (wait for the drop, then buying it manually)
  • FreeFormatter will encode PNG files to Base64 for you (and decode back again)
  • Rubular for building and deconstructing regular expressions

Mac Apps

I have 15-20 productivity apps that I use nearly every single day.

  • 1Password and 1Password for iOS. Read my 1Password review to learn why 1Password is the best password manager.
  • SizeUp for managing my windows in OS X. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to place windows exactly where you want them. Also look at Divvy and Cinch for similar functionality.
  • TextExpander and TextExpander iOS to create abbreviated shortcuts for text, images, and more. Also look at TypeIt4Me and Typinator, but TextExpander is supported in a number of other iOS apps such as ByWord and Textastic
  • Keycue displays keyboard shortcuts for the current application when you hold the Command button down for a specified time—super handy if you forget shortcuts all the time like me
  • Flycut is the best clipboard manager for Mac I've found (and I swear I've tried a dozen). The only feature missing is better support for rich text and images
  • Transmit is my FTP/SFTP/S3/WebDAV manager of choice. ForkLift and YummyFTP are both OK but the user interface on Transmit was intuitive
  • Path Finder is a Finder replacement that should be the default Finder in Mac.
  • ScreenShot PSD is an awesome graphic design app that lets you capture your entire desktop as a layered PSD file.
  • Mousepose is used with podcasts or screencasts to highlight your mouse or cursor
  • Camtasia is one of the premiere screen recording and editing tools on the Mac. I prefer it over Screenflow for one minor feature that might be a major issue—Screenflow can't do multiple callout layers without jumping thru hoops. Imagine a scenario where you're blurring 2 small areas out—a URL in the address bar and a username field. But you're also swapping windows back and forth with your text editor. Screenflow doesn't seem to handle it quite right and I find Camtasia to work intuitive to work with
  • Fontcase is my favorite font management tool for Mac. It's fantastic for small graphic designers (not sure how it would work with a shared library)
  • SublimeText and Textmate are both great text editors, but SublimeText is cross-platform compatible and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Aperture is what I use to manage my photography workflow on Mac.
  • Kaleidoscope is a file comparison app for Mac that, in addition to regular text and folder comparison, allows you to overlay two images and spot the different pixels.