What I use on this blogN.B. This page is continually being developed as I test and use products. Some of the below links are affiliates, so I may earn a commission if you purchase their product(s) or sign up for their service. That being said, they are all products I personally am using or have used in the past, been happy with and have no problems recommending them to others.
There’s been some debate in the web community about what is better for WordPress SEO–a wordpress plugin (such as Yoast) or embodying it in the theme such as Thesis. I don’t really know the answer. I’ve used the SEO plugin by Yoast, and I think it’s great, but I’m just trying Thesis to see how it goes. Already I like how easy it is to lay out my site with drag and drop functionality. I remember what it was like building websites before WordPress! Now it’s so easy anyone can do it. Plus Thesis has great skins that are basic enough to not conflict with your own style.
Originally recommended to me by my own money-saving mother, if you’re not using ebates already and you do a lot of online shopping, you are missing out. To date, I’ve earned over $400 from shopping through ebates whenever I shop online. That number is nearly staggering. I don’t even shop online more than 2/3 times per month, although you can multiply that by 5 if it’s the holiday season.
Are you kind of clueless but love doing everything on your own and learning as you go? Do you love learning constantly? I like to do a lot of things myself, including my own design and coding. Lynda.com is a great resource I’ve found that has video tutorials on numerous subjects from software to photography. There’s a good balance between technical and practical information, and I’m on the site at least once a day to figure out how to do something. I’ve watched tutorials on everything from food photography to user interface design to Adobe Illustrator to computer animation to brand and logo design, etc. Furthermore, if you’re a premium member, you can download videos to watch on your phone/iPad while you’re on the go.
I host my website through iPage. I used Blue Host for years to manage my personal sites, however, my domains and hosting came up for renewal at a time when I was seriously cash-strapped after buying a house and funding renos. I looked at the $40 in my bank account I had to make last two weeks, and the last thing I could justify spending money on was web hosting for sites I didn’t have time to update! They advertise at $6.95 doesn’t seem like a lot, but that price would be at 2 years which you get billed for upfront. I could really only afford to go 3 months at a time which was running me almost $12/month since the shorter term choice jacks up the price. Enter iPage, which for a little bit more than I would have paid for 6 months at Blue Host, I got 2 years! It’s different than Blue Host, but they do everything Blue Host does, and to this day, I couldn’t be happier with my choice. It was just what I needed at the right time.