The purpose of this page is to show you all of the tools I use to run this blog. In the last 4 years, I’ve been through a number of tools, and these are the ones I’ve settled on. Well, I’ve settled on, at least for now…I’m always researching and testing new stuff so I can share it with you!
In any case, I hope that my sharing these blog tools with you says something about what I think about them. I have an affiliate relationship with some of them, which means I will earn a small commission if you buy the item. It will cost you absolutely nothing additional, and it will help me keep this blog up and running!
Most of these tools are free, but some of them are paid. As you well know, I go for the free version 90% of the time, but sometimes, you have to spend a little to make a little, right?
Web Hosting/Domain Registration
I currently use SiteGround as my host, and I registered my domain name with GoDaddy. I had originally had my blog at GoDaddy, but I wanted a faster host with superior customer service. Read all about SiteGround and get up to 60% off your purchase by clicking on the Learn More button below.
I love the Genesis platform from StudioPress. It’s fast, secure, and many of the top bloggers use it. While it is pricey, I’ve found that it’s well worth the price tag. If you can save up the money to buy it, you won’t be sorry!
X Theme by Theme.co
I recently switched from Genesis to the X Theme, mainly because of the level of customization I can get from it with its built-in WYSIWYG page builder. You also get a ton of premium plugins as part of the cost, I highly recommend it!
(Don’t want to use X Theme or Genesis? Try the other themes at ThemeForest. There are a ton to choose from, some starting at $10!)
For a free service, you can’t ask for much more than what MailChimp offers. You get 12,000 emails per month, for free, and a host of other useful tools to help you create eye-catching newsletters, track campaigns, and much, much more.
(Don’t want to use MailChimp? Try MadMimi, which also has a free option.)
Social Media Management
With Buffer’s free plan, you can schedule up to 50 posts and have one account each for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. They also have a paid plan for 200 posts, 12 social media accounts, and the ability to link to your Pinterest account.
(Don’t want to use Buffer? Try Hootsuite, which also has a free option.)
With the exception of one plugin, these are all free. The one that costs money is marked with a $, and you can rest assured that I would not be using it if I didn’t really, really think it was worth the value.
- Jetpack from WordPress.com
- Contact Form 7
- Revive Old Post
- CoSchedule by Todaymade ($)
- Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
- GZip Ninja Speed Compression
- Infolinks Official Plugin
- Mailchimp Forms by Mailmunch
- SEO Ultimate
- Shortcodes Ultimate
- Social Locker
- Ultimate Maintenance Mode
- Ultimate Social Media and Share Icons
- Wordfence Security
- WordPress Related Posts by Zemanta
Back End Operations
A lot goes on behind the scenes with a blog. As with the plugins list, the ones marked with a $ cost money. Here are the tools I use:
- Microsoft Office ($)
- OneDrive (cloud storage)
- Dropbox (Earn an extra 500 MB of storage when you sign up through my link!)
- Box.com (cloud storage)
- Google Voice (business phone)
- Google Calendar (organization)
- Teamwork (project management)
- Canva.com (graphic design)
- Picmonkey.com (graphic design)
- Pixabay.com (free stock photo search engine)
- FreshBooks (invoicing)
Download this list as a PDF and Learn More About WordPress
Get this list of resources as a PDF for future reference, and I'll also throw in a free report, 5 Reasons You Need WordPress, as well as a 5-part email series to help guide you through setting up your first WordPress website.Yes, Please!