Recommended Blogging Tools and Resources for Bloggers
From the time I started this blog and still today, frequently I find myself answering the question about the Blogging tools I use and recommend for new bloggers.
As a result, I m creating this dedicated resource page so that everyone has easy access to them. In this list, I have shared all the tools and services you need for starting and growing your blog. Be it web hosting or plugins or social media schedulers this list has all the tools.
I have tried to briefly define the functionality and features of these tools. Feel free to bookmark this page as I will be updating this often.
WordPress powers 34.5% of the websites on the internet and that makes it the most popular and used CMS ( Content Management System). It is based on PHP and My SQL and is open-source software that gives to the liberty to create any type of website you want.
The websites created on WordPress can be easily managed and customized based on your requirements. You need to be technically strong in order to start a blog or website with WordPress.
Often you will find people talking about WordPress.com which is very different from WordPress.org. Both the platforms are different. You can create a free blog with WordPress.com, but there are a lot of restrictions and on every step, you are required to pay for an upgrade.
We highly recommend you blog with WordPress.org and not WordPress.com
Bluehost has been providing web hosting affordable web hosting solutions to new bloggers and web owners for over 15 years now. It hosts over 2 million websites and is one of the most established web hosting company.
Also, it has been on the WordPress recommended list of hosting providers for over 10 years which is a huge achievement.
With every Bluehost hosting plan, you get a free domain name for a year and a free SSL certificate. The hosting plans offered one of the least expensive, but provide value for money.
Bluehost provides great speed, 99.99% uptime, and 24/7 support even in the lower tier plans. I personally use Bluehost and highly recommend using it.
You may like to read – Bluehost Review
Siteground is a very popular hosting among bloggers these days. This company has suddenly taken over the market with a storm and it reports servicing over 1.8 million domains worldwide.
They have been in the market for over 15 years and their speed, security and customer support are what make Siteground a great choice for beginners.
Siteground is also on the WordPress web hosting recommendation list.
Every hosting plan on Siteground comes with
- Free SSL
- Free Site builder
- Email accounts
- Unmetered traffic
When it comes to buying domain names one of the pioneers in the industry is Godaddy. The company was established in 1997 and has a customer base of approx 18.5 million.
The first domain name I bought was from Godaddy and I still have a few with them.
A domain name can range from anywhere between $5 to $15 unless you want a premium domain. Frequently companies launch promotional offers that can further affect the price.
Another popular domain name registrar is Namecheap. It manages over 11 million domains and that makes Namecheap one of the largest domain name registration company.
Namecheap has been in the market for nearly 20 years and offers web hosting services as well.
The cost of a domain name from Namecheap is also in the same range and pricing will vary depending on the deals and discounts offered.
One of the biggest names in the WordPress theme and plugin industry is Elegant Themes. Elegant Themes has been in the business for over 10 years and have over 600k customers to date.
All the themes are fully responsive, comes with an advanced theme panel that makes the customization easy. You get access to a massive collection of pre-built themes that saves time. There is a huge selection of shortcodes available that will help you design your posts and pages and customer support is very helpful.
The best part about buying themes from Elegant themes is you can use it on any number of websites.
Also, it is important to know, when you invest in any of the Elegant Themes plans you are not just getting a single theme for that price rather you get access
- to the full range of products which includes Divi, Extra, Bloom, and Monarch
- 100’s of design layouts to jump-start your project
- while you are a member you get regular updates
- as mentioned above once purchased you can use it on multiple websites
- 30 days money-back guarantee. No questions asked
Themeforest is one of the largest marketplaces to buy and sell themes. It is a part of Envato Market which is collection themed marketplaces.
You can buy anything from themes to plugins to Photoshop elements and much more from various sites under the Envato market.
Think of a feature or multiple features you want on your website and you can find the theme. Themeforest being such a huge marketplace you can easily find a theme that you like.
The theme I’m using on this website is from Themeforest and I’m pretty satisfied as a customer.
If you are looking for a fast and SEO optimized theme, GeneratePress is what you should go for.
To date, GeneratePress has had
- over 2 million downloads
- 800+ 5 star reviews
- 200k+ active websites
- 50000+ happy customers
GeneratePress has been in the market for 5 years and has already left a huge imprint which is amazing.
The theme is performance focused and is compatible with page builders. When we talk about performance the first thing that comes to mind is the size.
The default WordPress install with this theme is only 30kb which is very light.
As far as the customizations are concerned, you can take control of the site layout, change color and typography and as mentioned above it is compatible with page builders and that gives you the freedom to customize the way you want.
With over 3 million active downloads, Elementor is one of the most popular page builders and I personally use it.
The best part about using drag and drop page builder is that you don’t have to worry about the code while designing the pages. Another important thing to know is you are creating designs visually.
This means while you are adding elements to the page, you can see how it will turn out. This makes the task so much easier.
If you are thinking about how the design will turn out on handheld devices, let me tell you designs created with Elementor are fully responsive and in case you want to see how it looks on mobile or tablets you can easily change the preview from desktop to mobile to tablet without having to leave the interface.
With Elementor you get to use 90+ widgets and create any type of element you need for your page. Be it buttons, forms, headings, columns, icons or anything else Elementor has the solution for everything.
Also, you get access to the Elementor library which contains 300+ pre-designed templates, pages and blocks that are fit for any industry and will make your job even easier.
With that said, what makes Elementor the best drag and drop page builder plugin for beginners is the ease of use and its pricing. It is a freemium plugin, which means both free and premium versions are available.
If you decide to go with the free version, you still get to use quite a lot of elements that will help you create a decent page.
This is the plugin I use to design my posts. Be it buttons, column, rate cards, highlights or any other element that you want to add to your page to make it look better, Shortcode Ultimate is the answer to all your queries.
This plugin is very lightweight and easy to use. With just a click of a button, you can add elements to your pages and posts that will help you create attention-grabbing yet professional looking pages.
Shortcode Ultimate is free to download and comes with 50+ elements that you can use to enhance the functionality of your page.
Also, there are 3 premium add ons available that you can use if needed to further extend the features of this plugin.
Site speed is one of the factors that heavily contribute to the user experience and for improving it you need a caching plugin.
When I started with this blog, I first tried the free caching plugins and let me tell you I’m glad I found WP Rocket. With over 140k users and rated 4.9 out of 5, WP Rocket is one of the best caching plugins in the market.
This plugin is very easy to use and the dashboard is beginner-friendly. Even if you are a non-technical, you will be able to easily configure the settings whereas free plugins are pretty confusing when it comes to configuring.
Also, WP Rocket takes care of a lot of other optimizations to improve the performance of your website.
With WP Rocket you get features such as
- Page Caching
- Cache Preloading
- Sitemap Preloading
- GZIP compression
- Browser Caching
- Database optimization
- Google Font optimization
- Lazy Load
- Minification / Concatenation
and much more
Content Delivery Network
Today everyone on the internet, be it businesses, non-profits, bloggers or anyone with an online presence are looking for solutions to increase the speed and security of their websites or apps.
This is where Cloudflare helps you. Cloudflare has one of the biggest networks on the internet that will help boost the performance and security at the same time.
When you create an account with Cloudflare and become a part of the network, the first thing it does is caching and distribution of your site on its network.
What this does is, it helps improve page speed by reducing the bandwidth ad CPU usage. Also, if a server fails to complete a request, it uses other servers to complete it making your website available at all times.
When it comes to security, Cloudflare mitigates the threat by blocking it even before it hits the website.
Cloudflare has both free and premium plans. If you are just starting, the free plan is sufficient if you combine it with WP Rocket and a security plugin.
If you are a blogger or an online business owner, I’m sure you know how important is email marketing for your business.
Mailerlite is an email marketing tool that will help you with this. If you are new to the online world and are looking for affordable and easy to use solution, Mailerlite is the tool for you.
With Mailerlite you get features such as
- Drag and Drop builder
- Newsletter templates
- Create landing pages, embedded forms, and popups
- Subscriber management
- Email automation
- A/B split testing
- Auto resend
- RSS Campaign
and much more
The interface is very easy to use and you can set up your first campaign in no time. When it comes to pricing, it is free up to 1000 subscribers and 12000 emails/ month.
In case you have more than 1000 subscribers, the pricing is still reasonable. For further pricing details visit the official Mailerlite website.
When it comes to email marketing, Aweber is another powerful yet beginner-friendly tool.
This tool has been in the market for over 20 years and is being used by more than 120k bloggers and online business owners.
With Aweber, you get features such as
- RSS to Email
- Drag and drop editor (choice to select from 700+ device friendly templates
- Email automation
- A/B testing
- Autoresponder follow-ups
- Third-party integration including social media
- Signup forms
- Subscriber management
- Email delivery rate
- Email tracking
and much more. The Aweber feature list is extensive and you can check all the features on the Aweber website.
When it comes to driving traffic to your website, Pinterest is considered as one of the best and reliable source. To generate traffic from Pinterest you have to pin regularly and this can be a tiring and boring process.
When I first started using Pinterest, I thought the pinning process is easy and it can be easily done daily. And one thing that never crossed was regular pinning is a time-consuming process and if the pins are scheduled every week I could invest that time somewhere else.
With that said, I do not want you to make the same mistake. For this reason, I highly recommend using Tailwind for regular pinning and scheduling.
It is the #1 Pinterest and Instagram scheduler and very popular among bloggers and small business owners.
With Tailwind you get features such as
- Creating an editorial calendar and posting schedule using drag and drop based on engagement, traffic, and more such factors
- Track repins, likes, comments, and traffic on pins
- Discover your brand mentions
- Create content based on new trends
- Track growth
- Identify which elements are working best for you
and much more. You can read in detail about all the features on the Tailwind website.
Tailwind is a lifesaver and must-have tool. I’m sure using it will boost your reach on Pinterest.
If you are someone looking to start or grow a Youtube channel, Tubebuddy is the tool you need.
Tubebuddy is a browser extension certified by Youtube that integrates directly to your channel and helps you optimize and grow your channel.
Tubebuddy offers features such as
- Advanced video embeds
- Card templates
- Emoji picker
- Playlist action
- Publish to Facebook
- Creating a publishing schedule
- Topic planner
- Schedule video updates
- Bulk processing of cards and end screens
- Keyword exploring and rank tracking
- Tag sorter
- A/B testing
- Channel valuation
- Competitor scorecard
and many more. There are still several features and functionalities that I haven’t listed here and you can check them in detail on the Tubebuddy website.
One of the biggest sources of traffic for any website is the search. To generate traffic from search engines the first thing you need to do is optimize your website so that it is user-friendly and easy to crawl for search engine bots.
Now, what if told you optimization will only take you halfway there.
SEO is not all about creating content and performing a little bit of optimization here and there. There is a lot more to it and to help you out with all that you need a reliable tool like SEMRush.
SEMRush is an All in one tool that not only allows you to perform audits on your website but also lets you spy on your competitors.
This tool is not limited to site audit and competitor analysis, you also get features such as
- Position tracking and monitoring
- Backlink Audit
- Brand monitoring
- Advertising research
- Keyword research
- Traffic analytics
- Social media tracking
- Social media posting
- Organic traffic insights
- Content analysis
- PPC keyword tool
- Ad builder
And much more. All these features make SEMRush a valuable and must-have tool. Learn more about SEMRush features.
Canva is one of the best image creation and editing tool online. When you start a blog or a website and have no experience in graphic designing or image editing, the task may seem daunting.
But with Canva you can create featured images, social media graphics and much more easily.
All you need to do is create a free account and select the type of graphic you want to create. Canva will give you all the tools such as images, icons, typography, background, shapes and much more to create your very own custom designs.
In case you are looking to save time, you get the option to choose from a variety of pre-designed templates that you can use in your projects.
Canva offers both free and premium plans. If you are just starting, the free account is more than enough for you.
If you are in the market searching for design assets for your new creative project, Creative Market is the place for you.
Design assets on Creative Market are divided into broader categories such as Photos, Graphics, Templates, Web Themes, Fonts, 3D and Add ons.
These categories further include subcategories such as
- Social Media
- WordPress themes
- Illustrator and Photoshop addons
- Lightroom presets
and much more
With such a huge number of products available on Creative Market, you can find the right products for your projects easily. These products can be instantly downloaded and you can combine these assets to create something new.
With that said, Creative Market provides 6 new free goods every week and also offers discounts on the products. Feel free to check the Creative Market discount page.
While I’m writing any piece of content, 2 things that I constantly think about is
- Correct Spellings
- Perfect Grammar
And Grammarly helps me out with both of these. This is one tool that I have been using for over a year now and is an important part of my online life.
Grammarly is an application and a browser extension that will not only help you with communicating effectively but also helps you with checking plagiarism on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Microsoft Word and more
Grammarly offers both free and premium plans and in the beginning, just go with the free plan and later on if required, upgrade to a premium plan.
One of the best ways to make money online is affiliate marketing. If you don’t know about affiliate marketing, let me tell you briefly about it.
Affiliate marketing is the process by which you can make commissions by selling/ promoting third party products or services online.
Share-a-Sale is a popular affiliate marketplace where you can find products that you can recommend and sell on your website.
Share-a-Sale has been in the business for over 19 years and has a reputation for being fair and honest. It has 3900+ affiliate programs in 40 different categories that is why there are high chances for you to find the right products to promote.
When it comes to joining costs, anyone can join Share-a-Sale for free and there are no requirements. If you haven’t created an account yet. What are you waiting for?
One of the biggest and ever-growing problems on the internet is Spam. Start a blog and you will soon see comments rolling in with links that have nothing to do with your website or content.
These links generally point to gambling or porn websites.
If you have a website that is receiving a decent amount of traffic, chances are you will get a lot of spam as well. If you are not using a spam filtering service after sometime it will become a difficult task to separate genuine comments from spam.
That is why it is recommended you should use a spam filtering service from the beginning. To help you with this you can use Akismet.
It was launched in the year 2005 by Automattic, the company behind WordPress to fight against spam and comes pre-installed in WordPress.
This plugin is free to use and very reliable. I personally use it.
With that said, I hope you find these tools helpful in starting and growing your blog. Do let us know if you are using any of these tools. Also, tell us which are your go-to tools when it comes to blogging.
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