Recommended Blogging Tools & Services

 

Recommended Blogging Tools & Services that I’ve found through my blogging journey.

There are a ton of tools and services available out there online.  I’ve seen and used a ton of them.  This list serves as a filter, and allows you to concentrate on top quality tools and services to speed your progress and improve your efficiency. 

 

Disclaimer: The links below with an (A) are called affiliate links.  I will earn a commission if you make a purchase from these links, at no additional cost to you.  Most of the tools and services I’ve used directly and find highly valuable.  In a few cases some come recommended by trusted friends.

F – Free

P – Premium

A – Affiliate

 

Domain, Hosting, and WordPress Themes

 

You’ve made the smart decision to start your own site/blog.  Congrats.  Where do you start?  How do you get it off the ground?  Listed below you’ll find reliable and trusted services that I recommend to you.

 

Domain Registration and Services

Namestation (F, P) This incredible service allows you to create domain name ideas through their 18 name generators.  A domain name is hugely important in search and should be memorable.  Namestation assists in finding available domain names.

DomainsBot (F) A simple tool that provides Domain suggestions, expiring and for sale domain name search, and whois lookup (owner of registered domain).

GoDaddy (P, A) You’ve likely heard of or seen one their controversial commercials (Super Bowl).  I’ve used them for a few years and have been nothing but pleased.  They have a friendly welcoming interface, solid customer support, and competitive pricing.  They’ll frequently run promos where you can purchase a domain for $0.99 for the first year.  They do offer hosting and other services as well.

Netfirms – (P, A) Netfirms is another respected company that provides domain names and hosting.

 

Web Hosting Services

HostGator(P, A) If you are starting your first blog/site I recommend HostGator.  I’ve used HostGator as my hosting provider for this site (GeeklessTech) since 2011.  HostGator has been around since 2002, and employs over 700 today.  I’ve never had any outage issues, and their support has been very helpful on a few occasions where I needed them to delete a plugin.

If this is your first blog I would suggest their “Hatchling Plan” for a single domain.  Plans run from $3.96 to $7.16 per month.  If you pay for 3 years up front (your rate works out to be $3.96/mo.)  If you pay monthly, you would be charged the $7.16 per month.  I recommend paying for one year up front which would cost ($5.56/mo.) around $66, that’s how I’ve paid. If you have multiple domains to be hosted now or in the near future, I would suggest the “Baby Plan” – ($6.36/mo – $7.96/mo) – Prices as of 2/4/13.

  • Unlimited Bandwidth and Disk Space
  • – Easy to Use Control Panel
  • Unlimited Sub Domains, FTP Accounts, and Email Accounts
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • – No Contract with a 45 Day Money Back Guarantee

 

WP Engine(P, A) The WP stands for WordPress.  I’ve had many trusted friends move over to WP Engine over the last year.  WP Engine only hosts WordPress sites.  This is a solid hosting solution that is recommended for WP owners with 20K + visitors per month.  In most cases users are going to migrate to WP Engine, unless you foresee a lot of traffic quickly for a new site or require a more focused solution.  The hosting plans Start at $29/month.

 

LiquidWeb(P, A) While LiquidWeb does provide hosting similar to HostGator and WP Engine, their expertise is with dedicated servers and their Storm Platform.  These are enterprise solutions for individuals and businesses doing a lot of volume (Traffic) interested in robust dedicated solutions (not shared).  I’ve never heard a bad thing about LiquidWeb from trusted users in my network.

*I also use bluehost hosting services and have been happy with them.  However, on February 2, 2013 they had a lengthy, multiple hour outage and all customers were affected.  The communication from bluehost on this matter was not terrific.  At this time I can’t recommend them due to the experience on 2/2/13, and I’ve put them on the bench.

 

WordPress and WordPress Themes

WordPress(F) The most popular CMS (Content Management Systems) that allows you to build and maintain your blog/site with little or no coding experience.  While I’m not going to sit here and tell you that anyone can run their own site on WordPress, the basics should be manageable to most.  There is a ton of information on the net on how to run a WordPress site, and even the novice participant should not be intimidated. 

StudioPress Themes for WordPress(P, A) StudioPress is the braintrust of Copyblogger Media and used by many of the top bloggers today.  StudioPress runs on the Genesis which is a powerful and user-friendly framework.  GeeklessTech runs on Genesis and I’ve been nothing but thrilled with the product. 

8 Reasons why you should use Studio Press Themes

Search Engine Optimization
Theme Designs
Unlimited Everything
Security
Instant Updates
Easily Customizable
Widgets & Layout Options
Developers You Can Trust

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You are going to love StudioPress Themes