Resources

Welcome to my resources page!

Readers often ask me about web tools, gear, software, etc. that I use and would recommend. I, myself, love reading resources lists from other bloggers and developers.

Well, here is my list:

  1. Website Tools and Hosting
  2. Digital Equipment
  3. Software
  4. Education
  5. Business Tools

WEB TOOLS

HOSTING

  • - Flywheel (Non-Technical): My very first blog was hosted with Hostgator (ugh). Later I moved to Siteground which is a nice upgrade. After a while though, and struggles with getting my page speed scores up, I moved over to Flywheel. That alone boosted my page speed dramatically. And overall, between the customer service, the price, and the rock solid hosting performance, this is my top pick for WordPress hosting. Skip all others. Go with Flywheel for only $13/month.
  • - Digital Ocean (Technical): After moving my blog from WordPress to Ghost, I decided to host it on Digital Ocean for more freedom. Now this is a technical move and you need to be familiar with Linux, Nginx, SSH, things like that. However, if you are, this is a superb option at only $5/month!!

WEBSITE/CMS

  • - WordPress : WordPress is an easy to setup, reliable, content management system, that you can host for really cheap. If you are new to blogging, websites, online musings, then go with WordPress. Tons of support out there and lots of developers waiting to help you out.
  • - Ghost CMS : After using WordPress for years, I decided to move to something more lightweight and arrived at Ghost. Ghost is a Node.js CMS that is super lightweight, easy to use, and can even be ran headless if need be. If you are looking to move off of WordPress while still retaining the "easy to manage" options, Ghost may be a perfect fit.
  • - JAMstack : If I could do it all over, and knew now what I didn't know then, I would have went with the JAMstack approach, specifically Nuxt.js. What is the JAMstack? Here's a video I created recently about it. All that being said, I may make my Ghost install headless, and put Nuxt.js on top of it. We'll see. !!

DIGITAL EQUIPMENT

  • - Macbook Pro: I've used a Macbook Pro for years and think it's the best. Currently I'm using a 13" 2017, 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 model. I started using a PC at work and PC's are great too. But outside of work, I still prefer the Mac.
  • - 4K 27" Monitor: I recently bought a new 27" 4K monitor and love it. I'm not at fan at ALL of dual monitors. Give me one large screen that I can move windows around on. And the 27" is perfect. The model is the LG 27UL850-W and I recently did a video review of it on YouTube.
  • - Keyboard: Looks like a Mac keyboard. Sort of a cheap feel. But suits me fine. Wired.
  • - Mouse: Simple. No clicking sound. Wired.
  • - Seagate Fast SSD 1TB: A wise investment for anyone. Lightning fast transfers at 500Mb/s. And of course it's SSD, no moving parts, and quiet...too quiet. And it's small enough to fit in your pocket (better your bag!)
  • - Samson Q2U Microphone : An excellent dynamic microphone for only $60. It's what I use when I'm at my desk (check my YouTube videos for samples). I can't recommend it enough.
  • - Microphone Boom Arm : You need one of these if you have a mic on your desk.
  • - Sony a6400 Camera Excellent camera for those who don't want to break the bank. All of my recent videos are shot with this. However, at this moment of typing this, I would recommend you go with the 6600. It came out after my purchase and has a few meaningful upgrades.
  • - Sony f4/18-105 Camera Lens : An all-around great lens that works everywhere. Used in all of my more recent videos.
  • - Primary ND Filter : Meh. It works good. Nothing fancy. An ND filter is needed for any videographer shooting outside in daylight. This one meets the medium of affordable and good quality.
  • - Deity Pro Video Microphone : Better than the Rode Pro. Yep I said it.
  • - Smallrig Cold Shoe : A handy accessory for attacing things to the camera.
  • - Rocket Dust Blaster : Bigger than it looks. Works really well to clean dust off of .... well, everything.

SOFTWARE

  • - VS Code : I've tried them all and VS Code is just the all-around best. Lightweight, tons of extensions, smart, and the UI is great. Just run with it.
  • - Affinity Photo : An Adobe Photoshop alternative. No really, a very good one. Just look it up. Try it out.
  • - Affinity Designer : An Adobe Illustrator alternative. No really, a very good one. Just look it up. Try it out. I use this regularly for creating thumbnails and graphics.
  • - Final Cut Pro : I'm not a fan of the Adobe subscription model. And I use a Mac. But regardless, Final Cut Pro is AT LEAST equal to Premiere Pro, and I'm used to it, so it's my go to video editor.
  • - Wondershare Filmora : A great videos editor/screencast program. I used this for a long time before recently moving to FCP. Highly recommended if you are starting out or are on a budget.
  • - Handbrake : Compresses video and does it very well.
  • - Skitch : Very useful for adding text to images, adding arrows, shapes, highlighting text, etc.
  • - Clipy : Couldn't live without it. Honestly. This allows me to keep as many "copy and pastes" as I want with an ability to recall them easily and individually. Just get it and thank me later.
  • - Divvy : Resize and rearrange windows on your computer with ease. Assign shortcut keys or just draw in a grid where you want the windows. Another tool I couldnt do without. You can see it in action here.

EDUCATION

  • - Skillshare : One of my favorite learning resources. Since I am a teacher on there, I can offer you TWO FREE MONTHS!
  • - Udemy : Everyone knows Udemy. Great value at a small price (unless you buy on one of those super expensive days. Don't do that).
  • - Treehouse : If you are looking for more formal, structured courses, then Treehouse may be a great option. Lots of courses in lots of languages and frameworks.
  • - Audible : Where would I be without audiobooks!?! Audible is great.

BUSINESS

  • - SocialBee : My primary automation tool for posting to social media.
  • - Quickbooks : I switched to Quickbooks this year to keep track of my finances after struggling so much with Wave's free app last year.
  • - Plutio : What I used exclusively as a freelancer to send proposals, manage projects, and send invoices.
  • - YNAB : Hands down the best budgeting tool at only $5/month.
  • - Amazon Prime : Who can live without Amazon Prime? Not me.
  • - Google Suite : I use this for my domain emails and benefit from the cloud storage options.

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