Products & Services I Use And Recommend!

In the past 7+ years of building websites I’ve had the headache of using many different tools, some of which were a total waste of time and money.

So I thought it would be helpful if I put together a list of all the tools and resources I currently use, when creating, marketing and growing websites.

Hopefully they can save you some time, money and hassle! (I’ll be adding to this list as I find more, so be sure to check back.)

Tools Of The Trade

Disclosure: Please note, some of the links on this page are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. It’s how I’m able to provide all the content on this site for free! Having said that, I only link to products or services that I feel confident recommending. You can read the full disclosure here.

Most Useful

WordPress: – Create your own website software

WordPress

WordPress is a piece of software you can use, to create and run your website. (And you don’t need to know any code!)

This very website is built with WordPress and the websites I build in the case studies are built with WordPress!

By far my number one recommendation.

SiteGround: – The hosting company I use and recommend

SiteGround

Before you use WordPress you’ll need a hosting provider, who will store all the images and files you use on your website and then make them live on the web.

There are thousands of different hosing providers you can use, but I use SiteGround on my websites and can happily recommend them!

Google Analytics: – Website statistics

Google Analytics

Once you’ve created your website you’re going to want to track a) how many people are coming to your site, b) where they’re coming from c) what they’re doing when they’re on your site, and a lot more information like that.

Which is what Google Analytics will do for you.

My Free Courses!

How To Create A Website

Learn How To Create A Website

How To Use WordPress

Learn How To Use WordPress

WordPress Themes – Choose Your Sites Design

If you’re using WordPress to create your website, then you have over 10,000 designs you can choose from. However, not all WordPress themes are created equal! Below are my favorite WordPress theme companies.

Elegant Themes: – I got the theme I’m using on this site from them!

Elegant Themes

The first place I recommend going to when you’re searching for a theme, is Elegant Themes.

They have over 80+ themes and a number of plugins. And if you go with them you get access to all themes and plugins from only $69 per year!

(The theme I’m using is called divi, which is highly customizable.)

StudioPress: – Premium WordPress themes

Studiopress

StudioPress offer a wide range of premium WordPress themes, which are all built by a company that I trust and can happily recommend. (In fact I like them so much that I own ALL of their themes!)

Their individual themes range from $59.95 – $99.95.

ThemeForest: – Largest marketplace for premium WordPress themes

ThemeForest Themes

Theme Forest is by far the largest marketplace of premium WordPress themes, with over 5,000 themes.

I was a little hesitant to include them in this list, simply because some of the themes listed there aren’t that good. But then they do have some quite nice themes.

If you’re interesting in using them, check out my where to search for WordPress themes lessons, where I talk more about ThemeForest!

WordPress Plugins – Add Extra Features To Your Site

WordPress plugins allow us to add extra features and functionality to our WordPress website. Below are the places I get my WordPress plugins from.

WordPress Plugins Directory: – The main place to get plugins!

WordPress Plugins Directory

This is the main place I get my WordPress plugins from. There are 35,000+ plugins which have been downloaded over 980,000,000 times.

And all the plugins in this directory are completely free.

CodeCanyon: – Largest marketplace for premium WordPress plugins

CodeCanyon

CodeCanyon is a marketplace for premium WordPress plugins, with over 3,500 plugins. They have plugins like slideshows, navigation menus, calendars, booking systems, live chat, etc,

If you’re interesting in using them, check out my WordPress plugins tutorial, where I talk more about CodeCanyon!

Independent Plugin Developers

It’s also worth noting that there are plenty of independent plugin companies and developers, (to many for me to list here), who you can get plugins from.

WordPress Extras

WordPress Support Forum: – The main WordPress support forum!

WordPress Support Forums

If you’re needing help with WordPress check out the WordPress support forums.

Just remember to search through the forums before you ask a question. And remember, the people in there are providing support in their spare time, free of charge, so don’t make demands, or take your frustrations out on them!

WP Curve: – Unlimited WordPress support and small jobs done for you

WPCurve

The WordPress support forums can be a great place to go to if you have any problems, but it comes with no guarantees you’ll get answers! That’s where WPCurve comes in.

They offer WordPress maintenance and support for a monthly fee. They help fix any tweaks that have gone wrong, update any plugins when it’s time, speed up your site and more!

Images / Videos / Audio

Places I Use To Edit My Images

I actually use Photoshop, but that has a big learning curve to it and is quite costly! Below I’ve listed 3 additional places I use to edit my images or graphics.

1) Pic Monkey: – Online photo and image editor

2) Gimp: – Alternative to Photoshop – can be used on a Mac or PC

3) getpaint.net: – Because I’m on a PC, I also sometimes use this program

Places I Get Images And Graphics From

1) Flickr: – Creative common images for your website

This is where you can get free images to use on your website, but each image will have different rules for how you can use them – see the sidebar of this page to see what the rules are, or see this article.

2) Article showing 30 places to find free images

3) Another article showing you where you can get free images, this time images that are in the public domain or available via creative commons

4) photodune: – Paid images that you don’t have to give attribution

4) graphicriver: – Same as photodune, but for graphics!

Screen Recording

Camtasia: – Record your on-screen activity

This is what I use to record and edit all the videos I provide on this site. With Camtasia I can record my on-screen activity, I can also import videos, music and photos. And I can edit the videos with graphics, callouts, voice overs, etc.

A Few Extra Tools

AWeber: – Build and distribute an email newsletter

Aweber Email Newsletter

I use Aweber as my email marketing / broadcasting tool.

They make it easy to create forms to capture peoples email addresses and then to send one-off email broadcasts, blog broadcasts or setup an autoresponder series.

FileZilla: – Upload files and images to your website using FTP

FileZilla

Most of the time you’ll use WordPress to upload your images, but occasionally you may need to add special files to your website, such as when you install WordPress manually, to do this you’ll need to use a program like FileZilla.

I’ve also put together a FileZilla tutorial to show you how to use it.

BrowserStack: – See how your website looks on different devices and browsers

BrowserStack

When creating your own website you need to be aware that different devices and browsers could display your site differently.

Which means you’ll need to check how your site looks across multiple devices/browsers and make sure there are no major problems.

Luckily there’s a tool called BrowserStack, which makes this easy to do.

Google Chrome: – Another way to emulate how your website looks on different size screens

If you don’t use BrowserStack, you can always use Google Chrome’s Developer Tools. To see how to use this, read this article. (You’ll need to scroll down to the “Device” sub heading!)

More Coming Soon

As time goes on I’ll be adding a lot more tools here. If you want to be notified when I find a new tool or resource that will help you with creating, marketing or growing your small business website, just enter your email address below and click get updates.

I’ll also notify you if I create or find any tutorials that might be useful to you, along with my case study updates and any tips or tricks I pick up along the way!