Studio Press, Genesis Framework
A long time ago I bought lifetime access to all of Studio Press’s custom themes. This was a great idea for these reasons:
- They are a solid company and keep adding new themes and improving existing themes every year. For example when the world went mobile they converted most of their themes to HTML 5 and made them responsive. They also continually make security and feature enhancements.
- They have nice themes. They have a wide variety of different theme types. When there is a trend like parallax or pinterest grid style themes, they are sure to pick up on it and create some for their loyal followers.
- I have learned the basics of setting up and customizing the themes. Because they are all built on a common framework my life is a lot easier than it would be if I used completely different theme types for every new website.
- Tens (maybe hundreds?) of thousands of people use these themes so there is lots of advice available for any customizations you might want to do or solving problems you may encounter.
- Because so many people use their themes, many plugin and service providers make sure their software is tested and operational with Studio Press themes.
It is just as good idea to buy access to all the Studio Press themes today as it was when I did it years ago because the reasons above still promise to hold well into the future. There are other theme families available but this one certainly has one of the strongest reputations.
I do use other themes from time to time. Often I buy websites with themes I am unfamiliar with. Sometimes I switch them to Studio Press and sometimes I just leave them the way they are. The HeckYeah.org site is developed with the Phoenix theme because it had some built in features that I liked for an author website.
WP Lightbox Ultimate
There are many video player plugins available for WordPress. I bought this one because: 1) it plays reliably on all devices (many say they will but don’t) 2) it supports playing protected videos from Amazon S3 3) It can pop up videos in pretty lightboxes and 4) it is cheaper than all other video player plugins that claim to do all the same things it does 5) it has good support.
Easy Video Suite
Many of the leading internet marketers use Easy Video Suite. It offers tons of features and is very well liked. However it is $297. If you plan to do a lot of video marketing you will want to at least take a look at it. But if you are like me you may not really need all those features for the extra dollars it will cost you.
I’ve used only Amember and S2 Member packages for my membership websites. Although I thoroughly researched other possibilities, I can really only comment on these two from direct experience. Membership software has to do a lot of important things including:
- Protect website content so that only people who have paid can access the content.
- Interface with payment gateways like Paypal, Clickbank and others.
- Interface with Autoresponder software like Mailchimp, Aweber and Getresponse.
- Interface with affiliate systems like JVZoo, Clickbank and Commission Junction.
- Interface with CDN’s (content distribution networks) like Amazon S3.
- Provide multiple levels of products and content access so that site owners can have product pricing differentiation.
I like S2 Member more than all the rest because it is comparatively inexpensive and it is very intuitive compared to Amember. For one price I can use the premium version of S2 Member on all my sites. Membership software is not easy to setup in general, so finding a user friendly package is very important. S2 Member does all the things above to some degree. One of its limitations is that it does not have its own affiliate program in contrast to Amember.
Amember has a lot of functionality but it is difficult to use and is a bit expensive.
The links to products on this page are affiliate links in some cases and I may receive a commission on purchases through these links. However, I recommend these products because I use and like them, and I don’t recommend the products that are unhelpful even though they too have affiliate programs.