The following items are tools that we use every day to create and manage our websites! If you have any questions about anything listed here, please contact us directly and we would love to answer them!
Disclosure: Some of the links contained below are affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase, we would receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Keep in mind that we won’t put anything on this page that we don’t personally use or know to be valuable!
Website / Blogging Resources
Bluehost is one of the most popular and reliable hosting providers available. Why should you choose Bluehost to host your website when there are so many options out there, many of them free? Our number 1 reason is because they offer amazing customer service. We have called in for help on multiple occasions and a real person has always answered and promptly solved our issues! Honestly, it’s so nice knowing that you can call them for help. Since the majority of us aren’t website developers, having someone to support you that really knows what they’re talking about is worth their weight in gold. Also, installing WordPress is a breeze with Bluehost. Seriously, you click one button and WordPress is automatically set up for you. Click to get a great deal and to get signed up today!
WordPress is probably the most popular content management platform in the world. WordPress is trusted by 28% of the entire internet! It’s great because you don’t need any coding experience to build a great website. In order to use WordPress, though, you’re going to need a theme. A theme is the visual front end of your website – the thing that makes all of that code look really pretty and do really cool stuff!
There are so many WordPress themes out there that choosing one can be a bit overwhelming. There are many free options as well as paid. We chose to pay for our theme both times because we wanted to ensure that we could get support from the theme developer if we ever needed. Also, we wanted to make sure that the theme received frequent updates. Just FYI, for both themes that we have purchased, we have needed support and in all cases, the support has been timely and helpful
We love our theme. We love all of the options and believe that it makes our site stand out. We purchased our theme from Themeforest and everything has worked out really well for us. Our theme is called “Fenix” by Evolve Themes, in case you’re interested.
The following tools will help you grow your online business. In today’s world, running a website requires you to wear many hats from author to graphic designer. We use these tools almost every day to help us get the job done.
It is really important to have visually appealing images and high-quality videos on your website and social media accounts. We take a lot of photos during our travels, and managing and editing those photos was becoming a full-time job for us! Luckily, we decided to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud! Primarily using Lightroom, our content has improved dramatically and it takes us so much less time to organize and manage our photos. Lightroom has been a game changer for us! It’s a wonderful editing and management program. We love that all of Adobe’s programs work seamlessly together so you can use an edited photo in a movie or make further edits in Photoshop. It’s super powerful and one of the most important subscriptions that we have.
StockSnap.io is a wonderful, free website that provides thousands of high-resolution images, free from copyright restrictions. We use this site all of the time when we need to find the perfect image for one of our blog post. All photos on StockSnap fall under the Creative Commons CC0 license. That means you can copy, modify, distribute any photo on the site, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission!
Unsplash is another great website for finding copyright free photos. They have beautiful photos from wonderful photographers. All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.
Canva is an incredibly powerful online tool for creating content. From images and banners to charts and infographics, what you can create using Canva is practically limitless. We use Canva all of the time for creating feature images for our websites. It is really easy to use and there are lots of templates to help you get started, best of all it is free! Canva does offer a paid version that unlocks extra features and templates, but for many people, the free version works great!
Imagify is a powerful image compression tool that can plug seamlessly into your WordPress site. With Imagify, you can just upload your images as normal to your site and it will automatically compress them. Every website owner needs to think about the sizes of the images that are used because large image files will slow down the site. Slow load times increase bounce rates and decrease SEO rankings so getting images as small as possible is critical. At the same time, image quality is extremely important too. Imagify is great because they offer three levels of compression so you can choose which quality level is right for you. Lastly, Imagify offers several different payment options, which we really like. We choose the pay as you go option but they offer monthly subscriptions as well.
MailChimp is a very popular service used to manage email list and email based marketing campaigns. We love that it is free (it is free up to a certain point of emails per month or subscribers) and that setting up different templates is really easy. Best of all, there are many different WordPress plugins that can integrate your website directly to your MailChimp account. Within MailChimp, you can create campaigns, set up automation for tasks that you don’t want to do (i.e. email a welcome message to anyone that subscribes to your list) and report on how those campaigns are doing!
Pat Flynn is the man behind SPI and The Man in general. He has built extremely profitable online business and is dedicated to helping others build and grow their online businesses. He is an expert in marketing, content distribution, podcasting, public speaking, and recently released a best-selling book. Anyone that has a website of any kind can benefit from the information provided on his site!
Making Sense of Cents is a personal finance blog that is filled with amazing and useful information. It’s more than just a personal finance site. Now that the blog has achieved such success, the site offers tons of resources for those looking to build an online business or blog. Michelle, the site’s author is a master of affiliate marketing and shares information on how to replicate her success. Did I mention that she made close to $1 million last year from running the website?
We absolutely love this camera. We purchased this camera for several reasons. The first reason was that it was far superior to a point and shoot but was less expensive, and much smaller than a DSLR. We aren’t photograpy experts but we know how important good photos are for our website so this was a great choice. Secondly, we loved that the camera has interchangeable lenses so that it can grow with us as our skills develop!
Action cameras are amazing. They take crystal clear video and are small enough that you can take them with you almost anywhere. We chose the Sony Action Cam and are totally excited about it. We feel that it takes better quality videos than any of the GoPros. It comes with an underwater case and shoots in stunning 4k. The only downside is that there are fewer accessories than the GoPro which can make it more difficult to mount it to bikes, surfboards, helmets etc. but we thought the video quality was worth it!
We like this tripod because it fits with our active lifestyle. It’s small and lightweight so it is easy to transport, but it is sturdy enough to hold our camera. The legs are flexible and can be wrapped around things to give you the best angle for your shot. This Joby Gorilla is the most popular, but we chose this product because it was half of the price and they offer a lifetime warranty. So far it has worked great for us!