Tools

Below is a list of tools I personally use or that are highly recommended. Even though many of the links are affiliate links, I don’t promote products simply for the commission.

Domain Registration

  • Namecheap – My go-to place for domains. Yes, they are cheap and come with lifetime free whois protection, saving you an extra $10 per year. I don’t recommend anyone else.

Hosting

Always avoid free hosting as they lack speed, security, and support. New sites don’t require anything fancy and you can get started with only a few dollars a month.

  • EasyWP – Managed WordPress hosting powered by Namecheap and is the host of this website. I’m still getting used to EasyWP but so far I like it. It has a few drawbacks but the simple interface is good for beginners. The price at $2-3 a month is pretty reasonable, especially for managed hosting. Recommended for non-techies.
  • Namecheap – If you want something even cheaper, Namecheap shared hosting is the best bang for your buck. At just over $1 a month for 3 sites, you can host your empire for less money than what’s hiding between your couch cushions. Recommended for budget sites.
  • WPX – Absolutely top-notch hosting and is what I use for my higher traffic sites. Superb speed and zero wait time for support. They will even move all your sites for free within 24 hours. Recommend for competitive sites.
  • WPEngine – I used to use these guys for a couple of years and were happy with them but ended up switching to WPX. WPEngine is great but is expensive. After switching from WPEngine to WPX, I had faster speeds and saved $900 per year! But if you have money to spend, this can be a good option for managed hosting.
  • SiteGround – I have not used these guys but heard very good things about them. People rave all the time about SiteGround on Facebook. They have higher prices the 2nd year which comes as a surprise to most people.

Themes

Finding free themes that are good can be tricky. Try some of these.

  • Newspaperly – My preferred free WordPress theme. It’s simple and has great widget placement.
  • GeneratePress – The most highly-rated free theme out there today. Another great option (PS, their Premium theme is awesome and what I use for this site)

Many themes make you upgrade to use simple features such as removing theme information from footers or changing colors. With a little PHP or CSS knowledge, you can make your own fixes.

Image Editing

  • Irfanview – This little free image viewer allows you to crop and resize images really easily. You can even add watermarks and resize images at the same time in bulk for free. A true godsend!
  • TinyPNG – Free online compression tool, making your images and website load faster. They also have a WordPress Plugin (here’s my tutorial).

Links

Ad Networks

  • Ezoic – My preferred ad network that pays high EPMV (earnings per 1k visitors). It’s free and there’s no contract. Ezoic using machine learning to automatically optimizes ads to maximize earnings, so there is no guessing. You also have lots of control to disable ads on certain pages and even specific advertisers. You even get your own success manager. Apply to Ezoic.