I decided to put together a resource page that lists some of the products and services I use to run my blog and other websites. Eventually I would like to create a detailed article on how to setup a WordPress site and what’s needed to start blogging to help those of you who may be interested in doing so. I’m pretty new to the blogging part of things but I have been working on websites for over 7 years. I’ve learned so much from blogging and would like to share what I have learned.
Keep in mind that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase through them. I have only included products and services I have used myself and would recommend to others. If you enjoy reading my blog and recipes, making purchases through these links is a great way to support me so I can keep new content coming to you for free!
1&1 Internet, Inc.- I’ve been using 1&1 for my web hosting for years so I just stayed with them as host to my blog. I haven’t had any issues with them and am happy with the service I have received. However, they are not the most user friendly. If you are new to creating websites or setting up a WordPress Blog I would recommend a more user friendly setup like BlueHost or Media Temple.
Media Temple is another hosting provider that I have experience with. Their price point may be a little higher than some of the other hosting companies but they do offer great customer service and support. They now have 1-click installs for WordPress and a new support system called CloudTech. CloudTech features certified engineers who can setup your WordPress site for you, backup data, do a security check of your site or help you with some other issues whenever you need it. The current plans for the CloudTech Premium Support are an “On-Demand” one-time service or a “Always-On” monthly subscription plan.
BlueHost- BlueHost is a good choice if you are a beginner as they are more user friendly, they offer step by step setup instructions and they even offer a “1-click” setup for WordPress.
Think of your domain as your web address…it’s how people will find your website. For example, my domain for my blog is Sprightliest.com. Most hosting companies, including 1&1 and BlueHost, also offer domains for purchase. For added security, and in case I decided to change my hosting provider, I prefer to purchase my domains from a separate company and then just point my DNS (domain name servers) to my host. The company I purchase my domains from is AlphaOmegaHosting.com.
I’m using Forever by Automattic with a little bit of customization. Eventually I would like to move toward a paid theme that offers more benefits. Below are a few themes that have received good reviews and function well:
StudioPress Themes- Studiopress is well known for their framework called Genesis. Themes that use the Genesis Framework are apparently faster, more secure, offer responsive designs and have built-in SEO.
Elegant Themes-Design is the main focus over at Elegant Themes. I absolutely love the design of the Origin theme and may try it out in the future. I love the visual aspect of it and think it would be neat to feature images of my most recent recipes or blog posts. They also have something called Shortcodes which makes it easy to add elements to your layout without a lot of coding.
BackWPup- I started using the plugin BackWPup after manually saving my blog got to be too much work. You can set it up to save to DropBox, a local folder, an FTP server and a few other options. I still occasionally do a manual backup just to double make sure I have a good backup of my blog. It would be a nightmare to lose all those blog posts that I put so much time and effort into.
It’s also a good idea to maintain a backup of your computer and/or operating system. I learned this lesson recently when I spilled coffee on my laptop. My hard drive didn’t survive but I did have a backup of my files, important documents and photos. I did NOT however, have a backup of my operating system or software programs so that all had to be re-installed. Keep this in mind when you are shopping around for backup services. Some of the packages offer a mirror image backup which includes the operating system, software programs and all files and some do not. I currently use the Carbonite Home Package because it is affordable and easy but this basic package does not include the mirror image backup.
DropBox- DropBox is a great way to store and share files. The first 2 GB of space are free and if you find you need more space they have other paid packages.
Evernote- I use a program called Evernote to write my blog posts, make lists and jot down any ideas I have. Then I just copy and paste my article into WordPress and add pictures. Evernote has an app for mobile devices as well as a desktop version so I can access my notes and articles from my phone, tablet or my home computer.
Food Blogger Pro- Whether you are just starting a blog or already have a blog that you want to improve upon, this website is a great resource. Learn how to setup a blog, increase traffic to your blog, monetize your blog, how to optimize your blog for SEO, how to take better quality photos and more! The videos are short, informative and easy to understand.