I’m asked all the time what I think about the different tools available for bloggers. I guess that comes from working with different clients over the years with many different needs.
All of the products or services listed here are either products I’ve used myself or have used for my clients. They are also my go products or services if I’m going to recommend something.
I will only share about products I have used and love. These links are affiliate links meaning I will receive a small commission or bonus for recommending you and sometimes you may also receive a discount too.
What I’m Currently Using
Mom Webs Hosting
I have tried many web hosts, and the majority of them I will stay clear away. Very, very few will I ever recommend. This is my current (and preferred web host). Great pricing, scalability and the support and service is superior.
I also love, WP Engine for hosting a WordPress website.
I have used a lot of themes over the years and right now there are two that I use when working on client site. My current favorite is Astra, I love the flexibility and how well it works with the new block editor in WordPress
Stackable – Blocks for Gutenberg
As the new Gutenberg editor evolves there will be less of a need for formal page builders. This plugin, Stackable offers a great variety of blocks that you can use on your WordPress site. Most of my site is currently built with a combination of Astra Pro and Stackable.
This is another tool (or set of tools) I think I have tried them all. I recently discovered SendFox. It’s built by the team behind AppSumo and Sumo.com. It’s simple, clean and while it doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles of some email marketing software, it think this is a good thing. Simplicity, helps you focus and not get caught up in all the stuff.
Right now you can get Sendfox on a lifetime deal of $49 for 5,000 subscribers! Get it while it’s still available!
WordPress I use a self-hosted version of WordPress and if you’re serious about creating a sustainable business and blog then you need to be one WordPress or at least have a plan to migrate to WordPress when you’re ready, but in my opinion it’s better to start with the right foundation from the beginning.
Is a flexible, user-friendly membership software. You can accept subscription payments, manage customer profiles, deliver digital content, integrate with your blog, forum, or CMS – like WordPress, send opt-in newsletters, run your own affiliate program
Just like my use of email marketing programs, I’ve used many different account programs over the years and between my spreadsheets I use to track daily income, Wave has become my favorite accounting application. Easy to use and free makes it even better 🙂
Having systems to tracking your income and to deliver your products won’t be very useful if you don’t have a way to accept payments. My first choice is Stripe, it works well and automatically deposits your funds into your bank account, no extra work on your part. I have this integrated with aMember to process payments for my Geek in Your Pocket subscriptions.
Not everyone can use a credit or debit card so for smaller payments and annual payments on my Geek in Your Pocket service I do offer the option to use PayPal to pay for my products and services.
The products and services shared here are either products I’ve used for myself at one point and still recommend or I have used them for clients.
- WP Rocket. Is your site running slow or is it not loading fast enough? Not sure what to do, then you’ll want to get this caching plugin. It’s the best I’ve found, and super easy to install and get set up. You’ll see improvements in your load time in no time
- Shield Security. My recommended security plugin to use on your site, also be sure to sign up to get notifications so you can learn about all the amazing features they keep adding. Considering upgrading to the pro version to support the team behind the plugin and to get all of the amazing security features.
- SEOPress. Yoast is a very popular SEO plugin, but I find it overloaded and sometimes buggy. It also can be the cause of many conflicts when doing updates. SEOPress is quick, easy to use and my preferred SEO plugin.
- Ultimate Gutenberg Blocks Library. This plugin is created by the team behind AstraPro. It’s a good plugin offering some nice blocks. I just happen to like the designs used in Stackable. I do have both plugins installed on my site though!
WordPress Themes & Page Builders
A note, I truly believe that the new Gutenberg editor is all you need with a great theme. It will help to keep your website lighter, which will help it load faster. If I’m going to use a page builder, it will be Elementor as I share below.
- GeneratePress: This is an amazing free theme, that’s lightweight has enough customization and has a few pretty decent child themes to pair it with. If you want more options look to upgrading to get GeneratePress premium.
- Elementor: There are a lot of page builders out there, but Elementor is innovative, has a lot of great templates, a fantastic support community and you can create any kind of amazing page you desire on your website using Elementor
- WP101. I use to provide my own training videos, but the with the changes in WordPress it was hard to keep everything up to date. WP 101 is a great place to learn the basics of WordPress at a reasonable price. I still offer custom training solutions, but this is a great alternative.
Email Marketing Tools
- Mailerlite. Just getting started with your email marketing? Mailerlite offers a full featured application that is free to get started for your first 1,000 subscribers and then it’s reasonably priced as you grow. Be sure to checkout my top recommendation: SendFox
Tools to Sell Your Ebook, Product or Service
- GumRoad. If you have an ebook, video course, or even a physical product Gumroad is super easy to set up and there’s not cost until you something then they take a percentage of the fees, but this also includes your PayPal fees so it very reasonable.
- SendOwl. Looking for something easy to use, but maybe a bit more robust than Gumroad. SendOwl is a great alternative that has lots of features too. Integrates with both PayPal and Stripe.
- PayPal. Considered one of the standards for handling purchases online and if you don’t have an SSL certificate on your website processing your payments through PayPal is a great alternative.
- Stripe. Want to be able to take credit cards, but don’t really want to use PayPal, Stripe is a great alternative and it integrates with many services.
Web Site Hosting
- SiteGround. Siteground offers a good solution for most web site owners, but be sure to keep an eye on the terms of their promotional offers. You can see a big jump in your hosting fees when you need to renew the following year.