When starting a website and blogging you’ll undoubtedly have several things to think about. Such as which hosting provider to use, how to speed up your website for your audience, how to check you articles are SEO optimised, to name just a few things. As we have been running this website for quite a few years now you can find out which resources we have used and recommend below.
Thinking of starting a website or getting into blogging? Here are some of the best website and blogging tools and resources you should use.
FastComet offer web hosting services and their products come packed with tools to get your website up and running in no time. Including the option of buying domain names, setting up a WordPress site, backups and fantastic support.
A great package which we use is the FastCloud Extra Package which we’ve found to be very high performing and can handle a larger amount of traffic. We also combine this with Cloudflare (mentioned below) for even better performance as this takes a load of the heaving lifting off the server (images etc) and also helps keep costs down.
Read more about FastComet and the benefits of choosing them for your hosting.
WordPress is a leading platform for creating your website – offering an easy to use CMS (Content Management System), as well as allowing you to easily customise your website using Themes and Plugins – many of which are free too. You choose to self-host your website such as through a provider such as FastComet (mentioned above), or you can also use WordPress.com hosting, although there are limitations on what you can do when not self-hosting.
Read our Ultimate Guide to Setting up a WordPress Travel Blog to help get you started.
WP Rocket is the ultimate performance plugin for WordPress and comes packed with features to help speed up your website. Including caching of your pages, optimisation, lazy loading, minification and much more. We use this plugin and highly recommend it. When we purchased and add this plugin to our website were saw instant improvements in page speed and load time.
Cloudflare offers heaps of features to improve your site performance and also its security. One of the best features of their service is the CDN (content delivery network) which essentially allows static content (images, HTML files, CSS) etc to be delivered to the end-user a lot faster and efficiently. Cloudflare have servers all around the world and when somebody accesses your website this static content is downloaded from a server that is closest to them.
Other great features of Cloudflare is the firewall (WAF), IP blocking, page rules and brute force protection where you may have someone sending huge amounts of traffic to your site to try and bring it down. You’ll also find options such as minify, image compression and much more which helps you optimize website performance.
You may be able to create your own images and graphics but should this not be your skillset then there are plenty of free image libraries (ie Pixabay) and also paid ones available too (such as Dreamstime and Shutterstock). If you wanted unique content or need custom graphics then look on a site such as Upwork where you’ll find plenty of high-quality freelancers.
Adobe Cloud provides applications that allow you to edit and organise photographs, create illustrations and much more. If you’re not planning on creating images or graphics yourself you may be better to just purchase images or hire someone to do it for you. However, we use Lightroom and Photoshop for our website and highly recommend these tools.
Pinterest is a visual search engine consisting of millions of images for almost every topic you could think of. To use Pinterest to promote your website you should add sharing buttons to your website and also create images that people are more likely to pin/save. The images we create are 900px x 600px and consist of an image with text overlaid. You can see our Pinterest account here.
Once you have content live you’ll probably want to be getting it found. Tailwind is a tool that helps make this possible. You can use Tailwind to schedule your Pinterest posts such as over the course of a month. You can also get them exposed even more in Tailwind Communities. They have various plans available and they even suggest the best time slots for your pins to be shared.
Yoast is a must-use tool for anyone managing content on a WordPress site. The tool checks your SEO on the page, including keyword density, use of keyword in the title and meta data, linking and other relevant attributes.
As well as this Yoast provided insights into the readability of the article. Such as sentence length, the use of transition words, paragraph length and much more.
Grammarly is a tool that you checks your spelling and grammar on your page. It then highlights where there are issues and when clicking on the issue you get a suggestion of the correction. The tool can be installed as a Chrome extension and the basic version is free. We’ve found that this works fine for us. There are also more advanced versions of the tool which you can purchase and these provide even more and in-depth suggestions.
Your email subscribers are your most valuable readers of your website and from the moment you start your website you should be thinking about building your email list. We currently use Mailchimp who provide a fantastic service and make it possible to build your email campaigns using an intuitive GUI (graphical user interface). You can also have a free account whilst your “Audience” grows. This free account allows your list to have 2000 or fewer members. As well as Mailchimp there are plenty of other email services available.
Check out one of our latest emails to see what you can do.
Canva is a fantastic tool that allows you to create graphics or download images. You can then use these on your website, social media or other marketing material. Canva has been designed with the end user in mind and allows even those that aren’t very creative to easily put together some great graphics. The software comes packed with templates such as for banners, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, flyers and heaps more.
The tool has a free and pro option, so it’s a good idea to give it a go on the free, and then upgrade to pro should you need more features.
Another benefit of Canva is their photo library, where you can download high-quality photographs to use in your designs or website. They also have some free images and some premium.
We can help you get your website set up. If you’re interested please get in touch for our fees.