This post contains products and services that I have personally used in creating my site; I recommend them to you as resources to help you build your website.
Resources to Get You Started
You have options with the hosting company you choose for your new website.
Do some research to determine which resources will work the best for you. I have only worked with SiteGround, but thus far, I have been happy with my choice.
Within SiteGround, you have options for a variety of plans. With the StartUp Plan, you receive 1 website with 10 GB of webspace (up to 10,000 visitors a month), unmetered traffic, free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to establish secure links between networked computers, free email, and more.
As your site grows, you will want to consider upgrading to a more comprehensive SiteGround plan.
SiteGround even gives a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can’t go wrong with that!
Start with WordPress.org as open source software that is FREE for you to use as one of the resources you use to build your website. It comes packed with features to help you create: it is SEO friendly, has high security, allows for customizable designs, and more.
Elementor and Elementor Pro
The cool benefit of creating your own website is being able to create and style and personalize the look you want.
Elementor is a plug-in that you download in WordPress.org to create pages, posts, templates, and themes.
As one of the main resources that I use in building my site, there has definitely been a learning curve for me. I believe that if I was to create a website now, I could do it within a much shorter time frame.
When it comes to growing your audience (and you WILL want to do this), ConvertKit is one of the invaluable resources that I employ. It offers easy to use features, automation capabilities, and dependability to help build your email subscriber list.
Create customizable sign-up forms, landing pages, and email marketing campaigns.
Adobe Creative Cloud
I have been a fan of Adobe InDesign and Adobe Lightroom Classic for years. InDesign is my software of choice for creating layouts, ebooks, pdfs, and social media templates.
Lightroom is essential for organizing and cataloguing my photos and adding adjustments to photos that aren’t quite right straight out of the camera.
The Adobe Creative Cloud is packed with even more designing resources.
When it comes to creating your site, one of your first steps will be to Pick your Niche and Choose a Domain.
Your domain name often defines the content and theme of your website.
I had some specific requirements when choosing my site name on namecheap.com:
- Make it easy to remember and spell (short and memorable)
- Opt for a .com suffix. You could go with .net, .org, or a variety of options, but .com is the recognizable standard and it is just easier to remember
- Limit the number of words. I think a two-word domain is best (but no more than three in my opinion)
- When you type your domain name, is your name easy to decipher? Does the combination of words create additional words that might be confusing?
- Avoid numbers and hyphens
- Be sure it fits your site’s niche or theme
- Be careful not to pick one that resembles another site’s name, especially one with a significant web presence
It is possible that you will want more than one domain name for your website, especially as it becomes more popular.
One important consideration when starting your new website is creating powerfully unique and safe passwords and then storing those passwords in a secure password manager program.
Chris and I have used a variety of programs over the years but love the convenience, security, and ease of use of LastPass among different users. We have a family plan that allows our girls to store their information as well.
LastPass offers security resources to keep your information safe.
Plugins as Resources
After installing the Elementor plugin, you will want to install additional resources to improve the functionality of your website: image optimization, page builder plugins, spam filters, speed optimization, etc.
Be aware that some plugins are not kept up-to-date and can often mess with your code. If you find something crazy happening on your site, perhaps start with deactivating the most recent plugins until you find which one is causing the problem.
WordPress Plugins I Use and Recommend:
WooCommerce – If you plan to have any type of storefront on your site, WooCommerce is a popular open source eCommerce plugin that integrates with WordPress. You can implement WooCommerce to take your brick-and-mortar store online, to launch a new business, or to use in developing clients sites.
Rank Math SEO – Rank Math provides Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools to enhance the visibility and ranking of your site. It has an easy to follow setup wizard and offers tools to integrate Google Analytics and Keyword Ranking. It boasts a lightweight code and fast load times.
Smush – Smush is an image optimization plugin to resize, compress and maximize the Google load speed of your images.
WP Rocket – A powerful caching plugin to improve the speed of your WordPress site with no coding required.
WordFence – Protect your website. WordFence is a comprehensive security option with firewalls and malware scanners to keep your protect your site.
Akismet – Want to protect your website from spam attacks? Akismet is a trusted option for spam protection. There is a fee to use Akismet.
What are the must-have resources that you use in developing your website? Share your ideas in the comments below.