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. The first tab is my current technology stack & this section changes over time.
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 Using Right Now
The Best Web Host for Your Most Important Business Asset
WP Engine. Unless something crazy happens, I will always be a fan of WP Engine. They focus solely on hosted WordPress powered websites.
They help to keep my site secure and running fast. Yes, they cost a bit more than other web hosts, but the amount of time I'm saving in some of my maintenance tasks (and backups) makes it all worth it! (Note: if you decide to move to WP Engine and use my affiliate link let me know and I'll answer any questions you have about their migration process.)
What I Use To Build My Site & My Clients Sites
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. I do offer a basic WordPress setup service, so get in contact if you'd like to learn more.
My Favorite Theme & It's Super Speedy too!
GeneratePress. This is an amazing free theme, that's light weight has enough customizations and has a few pretty decent child themes to pair it with. If you want more options look to upgrading to get GeneratePress premium. At the current price it beats most premium themes and is still light weight and looks great.
Create Gorgeous optin forms for easy subscriber sign ups.
Making Email Marketing Easier
ConvertKit. There are a lot of pretty good services out there for building your email list and I've pretty well tried them all. I was using Mailerlite before I moved to ConvertKit, but I'm happy paying the monthly fee for the uncomplicated way to do emails. I log in write my email, pick who I want to send it to and off I go. Yes, there's more to getting it set up than that, but once you do it's a breeze to use.
Build Your Optin Funnels & Sales Pages with Ease
Thrive Architect. The team behind Thrive Leads creates a bunch of pretty sweet plugins with a focus on conversions. I use the Thrive Architect (formerly Thrive Content Builder) to build many of my pages on my site. In fact this one you're reading right now is built using Thrive Architect. Oh and they also have themes too...
No more frustrations with managing your finances in your business
Zoho Books. I've tried so many different accounting services and was initially skeptical at the price point for Zoho Books thinking it couldn't do everything I wanted. Easy invoice payment, multi-currency, time tracking and more. Well I was wrong. Unless something happens, I'll be sticking with Zoho Books for the long haul.
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.
Elementor. This is my newest love. It's a page builder that helps you create amazing looking sites AND is pair really well with GeneratePress. In fact if you're looking for a great theme and page builder package that won't cost you a dime then the partnership of GeneratePress and Elementor is a winner. Elementor also has a Pro version to give you some additional features.
Elegant Themes. I'm a fan of Divi, but Elegant Themes has more than Divi they have close to 80 different themes to choose from as well as some great plugins, like Bloom & Monarch.
Divi Theme by Elegant Themes. There are a lot of great themes out there, but for right now I'm using Divi from Elegant themes. I love the flexibility that I can create anything I want with my site. Landing pages, Optin Pages, Blog Page and so much more.
Genesis by StudioPress. Want a great looking theme, willing to learn a bit of code tweaking then Genesis by StudioPress is a great solution. They have a number of amazing looking templates and the support community is fantastic.
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
Social Warfare. I've tried a lot of different social sharing plugins and Social Warfare is by far my favourite. It creates nice looking social sharing buttons and the feature I love the most is the ability to set up custom Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest messages that will automatically be populated if someone shares something. It also allows you to add your custom photos for Facebook and Pinterest to ensure your shares always look great.
Monarch. If you already have the Elegant Themes membership at the developer level then using their Monarch Plugin is a great alternative and cost effective.
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.
WP Fix-It. Need help with your WordPress site. Struggling with something technical you have two options, connect with me or go to WP Fix-It.
Email Marketing Tools
MailerLite. I have tried just about every major email marketing service available, personally I've used MailChimp, Get Response, Aweber, Ontraport, ConvertKit & ActiveCampaign. Many of these services I recommend depending on my clients needs, but I'm loving MailerLite. The easy of using it & the landing page option is pretty awesome too.
ActiveCampaign. Right now I'm using ActiveCampaign for my email marketing needs, but to simplify things I'm likely moving to ConvertKit in the near future. I'll be sharing details if that happens. I love ActiveCampaign because you get a very robust, full featured email marketing automation suite for an incredible price. You can get started for only $9 per month
Bloom. A plugin from Elegant Themes (which comes in their Developer membership) it's helps you create great looking optin boxes, pop-ups, slide-ups and more. A great alternative to Thrive Leads.
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
WP Engine. Unless something crazy happens, I will always be a fan of WP Engine. They focus solely on hosted WordPress powered websites. They help to keep my site secure and running fast. Yes, they cost a bit more than other web hosts, but the amount of time I'm saving in some of my maintenance tasks (and backups) makes it all worth it! (Note: if you decide to move to WP Engine and use my affiliate link let me know and I'll answer any questions you have about their migration process.)
SiteGround. If WP Engine is out of your price range right now, then I'd recommend you go with SiteGround. Another web hosting service with a focus on WordPress. They offer a great service at a competitive rate.