WEBSITE TOOLS AND HOSTING
Hosting / Management
SiteGround is my recommended web hosting company and what I use for my site and for most of my clients’s sites. For as little as $3.95 a month you can start up a website in less than 20 minutes (a step-by-step tutorial is here).
The customer service is phenomenal, the price is affordable, there is free website migration, 99.9% uptime, free SSL, and other valuable features that make it my top recommendation.
Powered by almost 30% of the web, I recommend almost all sites to use WordPress as their content management system.
It’s open source, well-established, easy to use, and can be customized to be as easy or complex as you desire your site to be. There are truly no limits and no equal in my opinion.
GeneratePress is another theme that I recommend as its highly customizable, widely accepted in the WordPress community, minimal, and the pro add-on with tons of features is only $40!
The gold standard of forms. On the surface there isn’t anything overly flashy, but behind the scenes Gravity Forms is a powerhouse in regards to customization, development, and 3rd party integrations.
From contact forms, to lead magnets, to payments, to surveys, Gravity Forms has you covered. And if they are missing something, I can assure some add-ono plugin has been build to meet your neeed already.
ManageWP is a great way to manage your sites from one single dashboard. You can perform backups, updates to themes and plugins, perform security scans, performance checks, analytics, and a bunch of other great features all from one place.
Most of these options are absolutely free and any add-ons are cheap. Do it.
Great security for your WordPress website. The free plugin itself provides a lot: email alerts, security scans, IP blocking, etc. and there should be no reason (unless you go with another like Wordfence) why you shouldn’t just put it on your site.
Social Warfare is a lightweight, fast-loading, powerful social sharing plugin. Its visually customizable, it tracks shares, adds powerful Pinterest pinning capabilities, click to tweet, floating buttons, responsive….you name it. My #1 choice.
Lynda.com is one of my absolute favorite learning resources. Not only are there tons of computer programmign and coding courses, but there are videos for every other field you can think of.
I have used it for coding, entrepeneur/small business courses, productivity, etc., and all have been excellent.
Best of all, they give a 30-day free trial. Give it a shot.
Leaders are readers. Period.
However, paper or electronic books are not always the best options for what we are doing. Audiobooks can be a wonderful alternative that can be implemented in the car, on a morning run, or when you are cleaning up around the house or doing yard work.
Audible gives two free books (yours to keep) with a 30-day free trial.
If you are serious about your business, you need a professional email, one that ends in your domain (i.e. email@example.com), not @gmail.com.
For $5 a month you have have your own professional email, as many aliases as you want, plus tons of other great features provided by Google for your business.
I tried a number of account apps for my freelance business but I found every one deficient of something I needed, except for Zoho Books.
For $9 a month you can generate invoices, track time, budget multiple accounts, etc., and I find that it combines more features into one program than others such as Freshbooks or Xero.
I didn’t think I needed it but now can’t live without it! Just do it!
From free two day shipping, discounted overnight shipping, streaming movies, etc. it really does pay for itself after a year of using it.
Not cool I know, but those nights where you are sitting there coding or working on the computer, put these on. These add extra protection against that blue light that has been proven to disrupt sleep and really do make the world of difference…..and these are the real deal, not the knock-offs.
And here’s the version for those with glasses already.
When I got my new Macbook Pro I wasn’t quite aware of the USB-C ONLY ports!!! Where is my USB hookups?…my card reader?…my ethernet port?? Not there.
This is a portable and reliable USB/Ethernet unit that I have used now for over 6 months with no issue at all.