I wanted to create something special for you, something you can refer back to when you are looking for a tool or service to help you run your online business and serve you for any WP website needs. The resources I am sharing with you are ones I use or used to use at one point and I strongly stand behind their products or services. I will edit this list as I try out more tools. My promise to you is adding only quality resources.
Disclaimer: Some links might be affiliate links that I receive a small commission on if you decide to buy something. This doesn’t cost you anything and sometimes going through the link will give you a discount or other incentive. Those will be marked appropriately*. Thank you for your support in advance!
NameCheap*: They have the most budget friendly prices and first years privacy registration is free. NameCheap is not only a place where you get domains but I also get SSL Certificates here which are 4x less than from Comodo (that’s where the certificates come from but are more expensive directly on Comodo’s site). Another thing I love about them is they stand for Internet Freedom. They support activists like Electronic Frontier Foundation & Fight For The Future.
Google Domains: Their domain service is fairly new but the company certainly is not. I recently started using Google Domains and love them! Some of their great benefits include user friendly dashboard, privacy registration at no additional cost, customizable sub-domains, Google Apps for work email and forwarding, new domain endings, fast and secure Google infrastructure (you get to use the same DNS servers as Google).
WP Engine*: I have used many hosting providers and I have never been as happy as I am with WP Engine. In fact so happy that I include WP Engine Hosting in my Maintenance & Security Plans at no extra charge. You can also signup directly by clicking the above link andreceive my 20% discount. Regardless of the route you take you will be in excellent hands. WP Engine offers light speed fast and secure hosting for your WordPress website, they proactively block attacks at the server level. Their customer service is the best! When you talk to them, you are talking to WordPress experts and they always go out of their way to help.
iThemes Security: I use the Pro version on all my client’s websites, but even the free version is really amazing and will help you keep your website secure. Some of the security settings include hiding your wp-login page, enforcing strong passwords, stopping automated attacks, lockout notifications and much more. You can also log user activity on your website so there is never any mistake who did what. This is just skimming the surface of all the functionality they offer and they recently revamped the whole plugin.
Sucuri: Website security is at the top of my priority list and these guys are the Pro’s you want to befriend. It is absolutely worth the investment and if you are serious about your business there is no price tag on your site being secure. They actively detect and prevent intrusions, remove and clean up malware if you get hacked. These are just few among a whole list of things they do to keep your website secure.
LastPass*: Do you have strong passwords or do you use the same password across different platforms? Strong passwords are hard to remember and especially since we all have so many of them but with LastPass you only have to remember one and the rest are securely stored and encrypted locally on your computer (or other device). You can also share access to accounts without disclosing your passwords and while on the subject of sharing, by using the link above to sign up we both get a free month of LastPass premium. You can collect up to 2 years worth, so share the love of password security 🙂
ESET: Securing your website starts with securing your computer, tablet and phone; the devices you use to access it and I’ve been using ESET for over 5 years now on all my devices. ESET will not only protect your devices from viruses, phishing and spam but it also has extra features like social media scanner, anti-theft and personal firewall just to name a few. Whether you’re on a PC or Mac or another device like your phone or tablet you need an antivirus.
Malwarebytes: When your Antivirus isn’t enough that’s where Malwarebytes comes in. It’s not an instead solution but more an “in addition to”. I run both ESET and Malwarebytes on my computer and they complement each other nicely. Malwarebytes detects and removes malware on an infected computer with industry-leading anti-malware, anti-spyware, and anti-rootkit tech. Scans for the newest and most dangerous threats. The premium version also prevents future infections, blocks malicious websites, scans faster and hides from malware.
WordPress.org: My business wouldn’t exist without WordPress. In my opinion it is the best website platform out there and it gives you the freedom to make it whatever you want it to be. WordPress is free open source CMS (Content Management System) and it has a huge community behind it which means you can find help if you need it. Over 20% of the internet uses WordPress and just to name a few big brands TIME Magazine, NASA or CNN use it too.
GP PREMIUM THEME
StudioPress*: Built on the Genesis framework offers premium themes that are built with SEO and security in mind. Their themes are fast without bloat code and responsive. You do need to purchase the Genesis Framework with the theme if you don’t already have it or you can pay their one time fee and take advantage of all of their current and future themes.
Google Apps*: Me and almost all my clients are using Google Apps for email and we love it! It is reliable with amazing spam filters and very inexpensive. When you get Google Apps you not only get a great email box but you get all the other tools with it like Google Drive, Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations and more. All integrated in one account making it easy to access/use. If you are thinking about signing up let me know I have limited number of $10 off coupons if you use my link. They also have a 30 day free trial.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Meet Edgar: First ever tool to reuse your content and automatically post it to social media platforms from a library of content you previously curated. Your posts never go to waste and reach more people. I think Laura Roeder was genius to create Edgar, it’s just what we all needed. You also don’t have to schedule every single post individually, you just fill up your library and Edgar does the rest! Currently Edgar integrates with Twitter, FB (including groups!) and LinkedIn.
Buffer: Another social media manager that enables you to schedule posts ahead of time. Buffer has a free version as well as paid plans if you need more features. They support more social media platforms than Edgar currently does. You can schedule as you discover great content on the web with a browser extension, create your own content and images with Pablo and analyze your social media stats.
Stripe: If you want to process your transactions directly on your website and want a nicer looking interface, Stripe is perfect. You will need a SSL (and possibly a Dedicated IP Address) to make your transactions secure for your clients and the funds will automatically be sent to your bank account. Stripe has a lot of custom options to fit your needs.
PayPal: You can easily set up an account and start accepting money within minutes in person, online or over the phone, send money to other PayPal users or pay with their Debit or Credit Card. One of my favorite features is the Debit Card (and the money back you earn on it) and PayPal Here that turns your device into a payment processing machine.
PHOTOS & GRAPHICS
Photoshop: The only limit here is your own imagination. It’s my favorite software of all time and I been using it for about 10 years and absolutely love it. Yes there is a learning curve but once you get a hang of it it’s easier to learn the other tools in the Adobe suite plus you aren’t limited like you would be with the more easier tools out there. You can create unique graphics unlike the drag drops which you can almost always recognize someone used cuz they are all cookie cutter templates. Of course Photoshop is not for everyone and if you want to go the easy/quick route then this is not it.
Canva: You don’t have to be a graphic designer to make beautiful images, Canva has pre-made images and all you have to do is customize them, change some colors, text etc. You can also upload your own images and customize them as well as make PDF’s. One of the coolest features is the already set format sizes, so you don’t have to figure out what size should your image be, you just choose what you will use it for ie. Instagram or Facebook.
Vimeo: The player is very clean looking and you can also customize it further. If you are going to create videos for paid content this is the way to go, Vimeo allows you to password protect your videos and with the upgraded paid plans you have even more privacy controls. You can also organize your videos, access video analytics and there are no ads.
YouTube: This is your best pick if you want your videos to be discovered and want them publicly available. You can even get famous! There have been many artists who were discovered via YouTube and now they even have YouTube Music Awards – how fucking cool is that?! YouTube also offers live streaming, audience insights, video editing tool and YouTube Leanback which transform it into a TV watching experience with your Android phone as your remote control. Those are just a few of so many features.
Slack: My new favorite communications app, I absolutely love Slack! Beautiful design, cool notifications, integration of other tools to work with Slack, great search capability, drag and drop files to share with others. You can use GIFs and emoticons, even have Slackbot remind you of shit! Another cool feature is setting up notifications when someone uses a specific word. Slack is free but also has paid plans if you need extended features.
Asana: Collaboration and staying on top of projects have never been easier. You get everything from task lists with due dates (just recently time due dates added) to calendars, and even attachments. You can skip the email and communicate directly in Asana which has an built in inbox and it also works on mobile. One of the coolest features is the integration with other tools like Google Drive, Dropbox and more.
17 Hats*: Creating whole workflows is my favorite feature! Great for service based businesses where you do a lot of repetitive tasks like sending emails, contracts, invoices etc. Well with 17 Hats you can create a workflow + to do list so once you check something off or a event occurs it triggers the next action for example sends and email. Some of the other features include time tracking, templates, bookkeeping and a lot more.
Zapier: Automation in an online business is a must and even more so if you’re a one man show. Zapier connects many apps and creates workflows so that you don’t have to repeat tasks that can be done better and faster with a zap! One of my favorite is the Calendly and Google calendar zap which takes my client bookings and puts them on my Google calendar. There are hundreds of ways to integrate your favorite apps, and even build your own custom connections wit6h the use of their API. Their free plan is limited but their paid plans are affordable and well worth it.
IFTTT: They are similar to Zapier but different in some ways. The connections you create are called recipes and there are two kinds DO and IF. The first simply performs a function like “turn on a fan for 15 minutes” (requires some additional stuff like smart appliances etc.). The second is executed if something happens first like “when you get to work, turn my phone ringer off”. IFTTT has many other great recipes and they are free.
Dropbox*: Powerful admin controls allow you to store, share and access your data securely. One of my favorite tools that helps me stay productive and secure online. Some of their great features include remote wipe, strong encryption, two-factor verification and sharing capabilities. If you sign up through the link above you will receive 500MB of free storage.
Google Drive*: Included as part of Google Apps for work email, you receive 30GB of storage. It’s very convenient and accessible all in one place. You can share the files with others and manage the permissions if they can only view or edit them. It works amazingly with google email (duh! right?) where you can save attachements dirrectly to your Google Drive or send big attachments via Google Drive.