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.)
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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!