I get a ton of questions from friends and fellow bloggers about the things that I use here on my blog. Now, I’ve previously written about the plugins I’ve used here, but some people are still interested in everything else.
So I’ve decided to write out a quick list of the basic blogging tools that I use.
When I first started blogging I made a mistake of following some bloggers “how-to setup WordPress” guides and signed up with a different hosting provider. The guide was helpful and got my blog up and running in less than 5 minutes but I quickly found out that the hosting company was terrible. I had tons of downtime and it just wasn’t working for me.
After about a year I switched hosting providers to MediaTemple and have not looked back. They are amazing and I wish I would have started with them. Oh well, lesson learned.
They are a bit more pricey than the aforementioned hosting provider but definitely worth every penny. You can get WordPress setup with just a couple clicks after purchasing a hosting program and you’ll be up and blogging in no-time!
This is a no-brainer to me. Unfortunately, when I first started blogging, I used blogger and I absolutely hated it. I couldn’t set up the blog exactly how I wanted it to look and when I would publish a post, the formatting would look completely different than what was in the editing dashboard.
Talk about frustrating.
Now, I know there are many successful blogs out there that use blogger… it’s just not for me. The reason I went with blogger in the beginning was because I originally thought that WordPress was super hard to navigate and understand but I was dead wrong! WordPress is unbelievably easy to use, navigate, and I can set up everything the exact way I want.
Go with WordPress.
The first ever theme I purchase was from ThemeForest and I’ve never looked back. While I don’t use that theme anymore (it was super restricting) the current theme I use is from ThemeForest.
The amazing thing about ThemeForest is that all the code and themes sold on their platform is quality checked. This makes them the top choice when looking for or recommending themes for people. If I even need a new theme (which I doubt because this current one is so customizable) then I will always buy from them.
I cannot say enough about all the great things I’ve purchased or gotten free from Creative Market. For me, they are more of a photos and graphics resource.
I absolutely love their “Free Goods of the Week” where they e-mail you once a week and let you download up to 6 goods for free. The blog photo templates you see on this (and many other of my) blog post is from there. I’ve also gotten some great free Photoshop actions, Lightroom Presets, fonts, and Instagram Story templates.
For things that I have not gotten for free they are very affordable and very user friendly. Can’t go wrong with that!
I’ve been using MailerLite for several years now and I cannot say enough good things about them. They have a fantastic and easy to use interface for managing your email list, creating web forms, building custom emails, and also creating an RSS feed email for your blog subscribers.
Best part?!? It’s completely free for the first 1,000 subscribers with unlimited e-mail sending. After that it’s just $10/month for up to 2,500 subscribers and so on. You get access to every option available with the free plan so it’s basically like you’re using a paid plan… only you’re not.
Adobe Creative Cloud
I can’t tell you how awesome this service is. I grew up buying Photoshop after is was generations old (it was the only way to get this software affordably, absent just stealing it).
If you wanted to buy the entire creative suite outright, you’d spend at least $2,500 and Photoshop alone was at least $1,000. Yeah… can’t afford that.
The creative cloud service operates on a monthly membership and gives you the updated and best versions of all the adobe software. There are a ton of different package options to choose from. The entire Adobe Suite starts at $50 per month or you can just get the photography bundle, like I have, for just $10 per month. Seriously affordable now!
So, there you have it… my list of things that I use here on and for the blog (not including my photography equipment).