Is it just me or are WordPress blogs a dime-a-dozen? It seems like everyone (including me) is on the blogging kick lately. While I’ll never complain about people getting involved and trying to educate others simply trying to keep up with WordPress news, tutorials and other posts in the inevitable noise that comes with so much content can be crazy.
Frankly I’ve given up trying to get emails or follow blogs directly. For the most part I haven’t even been to the sites of some of my favorite blogs in months (which can get really awkward after a redesign when you find out how similar your site looks to some of them). I’ve been able to do this with a few free tools that have allowed me to track about 400 blogs and sites while really paying attention to the 1/2 dozen or so I find most informative.
Tools and Sources
- Feedly – This is my RSS aggregator, the software I use to collect posts and stories from hundreds of sites in one place. I’ve tried just about all of them since Google Reader went away but Feedly just gives the most bang for the buck. It’s easy, fast, accessible anywhere and generally pleasant to use. I used to push it through apps like Readkit on Mac and Mr. Reader on iOS but lately the native Feedly website and apps have gotten so polished I just don’t need the extras anymore.
- Safari – Sure there are a lot of “read later” services, Pocket and Instapaper come to mind in this category, but Safari 7 just makes them obsolete. The “reading list” and reader views are excellent and serve to keep track of anything I want to dive deeper into later on any device.
- Buffer – When I find something good I want to share it. Buffer has made that so easy. It takes care of all my networks and even schedules posts throughout the day so my Twitter feed doesn’t get clogged up when I get caught up on my Feedly list.
Of course tools are just part of it. These days I pretty much just scan headlines of most of the blogs I follow with a few exceptions. On Feedly I keep a few sites tagged as “Must Read” to make sure the really good stuff doesn’t get away from me. If you’re into WordPress or anything similar I would highly suggest you do the same with the following:
- Lireo Designs – This is the site and blog of Deborah Edwards-Onoro, a front end developer from the Detroit area who specializes in education and accessibility. While not the most code heavy of the blogs I follow it definitely gives me ideas on topics from directions I wouldn’t normally approach them. I would recommend anyone interested in building anything for the web (not just WordPress).
- Eric Mann – Eric is a senior engineer for 10up and writes one of the best code-oriented blogs on WordPress. I’ve learned so many little tips and tricks from his writing that I couldn’t even tell you what they all are anymore.
- Konstantin Kovshenin – Konstantin is a lead developer at WordPress.org and one of the nicest guys in the business. Every post he has is a lesson into some part of WordPress core and the rationale behind how some of it works. If you code you definitely need to check it out.
- Jennifer Bourn – Bourn Creative, a dev studio ran by Jennifer and her husband Brian, puts out some quality content on topics related to dev and just about everything else WordPress. They’ve become my goto source for content creation and blog marketing.
- Bob Dunn – Bob is a jack-of-all-trades and a hell of a nice guy. His WordPress tutorials are top-notch and cover nearly all aspects of WordPress. While often not as deep as some of the dev blogs his content never fails to show me some trick or item that I either missed or just don’t normally use.
- Chris Lema – While I might be able to hold my own on my own projects, mainly writing code and teaching, I don’t know jack about business. Fortunately with Chris’ content I don’t need to. I’ve learned more about the business of WordPress from Chris in the last year than I did in a few more years trying to run a WordPress business myself. If you want to make money in WordPress listen to him. It really is that simple.
- WPTavern – While not a single blogger (it’s actually owned by Automattic Audrey Capital), WPTaven is an excellent source on whats going on in the WordPress community. I’ve taken to turning to Jeff and Sarah for confirmation on nearly any WordPress news story I hear elsewhere. They’ve got the pulse of the overall community like no one else.
- Dogshaming.com – Because sometimes we just need something non-work related.
Of course this isn’t everyone I read (I wish I could list all of the great ones but I would be here until Christmas). If you want to check out my entire Feedly list you can download it here (note I’m not cleaning it up for this post, in addition to WordPress, development and tech it also includes a number of blogs on politics and religion). If you haven’t tried a service like this before my list will give you a great base to start with on WordPress and related topics so you can branch out into what means the most to you.