Blogging is a journey. Blogging is an art. What not. However, it’s not as easy as most people would think. Since running a blog needs a tremendous effort, people tend to give up more easily. Blogging is not all about writing. Blogging has its own way of becoming a success. If you want to be a good blogger, you have to write better content and use better blogging tools. Blogging tools? Yes, blogging tools.
Whether you’re putting together a blog or taking your message to your audience, one of the first things you’ll find is a list of blogging tools needed for the job. It can be a blogging platform, it can be a plugin or it can be a third party service. We have listed the most recommended blogging tools in this article. With these essential tools, you’ll be equipped to tackle every obstacle on your journey.
More or less we are using these tools in WPSnappy. To know what WPSnappy has under the hood, check our under the hood page for more information.
Building Your Site – WordPress.org
The first step in the blogging process is to create a place for your content to live, often called as blogging platform while some people call content management system, CMS in short.
If you have checked our comparison, you might feel that WordPress.org version seems to be comfortable to work with. You have full control, ability to use plugins and custom themes. Yes if you want to be serious in blogging, we wouldn’t recommend going with WordPress.com version.
There are many hosting providers available for bloggers. All of them have their own set of pros and cons.
We have listed a few hosting providers we recommend but you will have to make a certain number of decisions because each hosting provider targets a different set of users. As an example, we would recommend Bluehost for starters and SiteGround for people with growing blogs to satisfy their needs.
SiteGround – #1 hosting for WordPress as wordpress.org endorses. SiteGround is an excellent option for growing blogs. SiteGround is super fast and provides unmatched customer support. Also, SiteGround offers free SSL certificates, SSD storages and caching to comply with speed and standards. Of course, this is a more expensive option than Bluehost but it’s worth it.
A2 Hosting – This is the fastest shared hosting package we have ever tested. They provide excellent customer support while keeping their promises to provide fast service. WPSnappy is also powered by A2 Hosting and it gets the job done perfectly.
Bluehost – Bluehost provides affordable shared hosting plans with a free domain. If you are just starting out we recommend Bluehost for you. Their shared plans start at $3.95/month.
WordPress themes are responsible for a website’s appearance. Here are some WordPress themes we recommend.
Genesis Framework – Our #1 choice of WordPress themes. Genesis often referred to as a framework which you will fall in love with. It doesn’t come with bloated, unnecessary options and is not heavy in file size. It provides you with the base where you can make adjustments to look better. Genesis Framework is known for its speed, SEO friendliness, and community.
Genesis Child Themes
- StudioPress – When you sign up with StudioPress you will get the Genesis sample theme with Genesis package. StudioPress also offers a huge amount of child themes at a cost.
- Restored 316 – When it comes to feminine genesis child themes, Restored 316 is undoubtedly the best.
- Feat Design Co – For various kind of genesis child themes and skins.
- Themeforest – Pre-made themes often come with an options panel where you can handle pretty much everything at no coding experience. When it comes to beginners, we can suggest a few themes like X-Theme, Avada and Bee theme.
WordPress is known for the use of plugins. Plugins allow you to extend its features. We have listed must have WordPress plugins. We have tested all of them so you can use them or test them with confidence.
- Jetpack – Jetpack is a collection of added features. It allows us to measure our visitors, add share counters, social buttons and help with the readers to quickly navigate through our content.
- Akismet – Akismet in another great plugin from Automattic which comes pre-packed with WordPress and is capable of protecting WordPress sites from spams. This is a must-have plugin for any website. Akismet is intelligent enough to detect spam comments with fabulous accuracy rate.
- Yoast – This is another must-have plugins. Yoast helps to manage all the on-page SEO tasks with ease. It allows us to set titles, test reading score, check keyword density and many more. This is undoubtedly the best plugin you can find for on-page SEO tasks. It has both free and paid versions but the free version is more than enough.
- All in One SEO Pack –
- The SEO Framework –
- Google XML Sitemaps – Google XML Sitemaps plugin allows you to create XML sitemaps easily in WordPress. Also, it offers you a few extra options to tweak your sitemap. If you are looking for more advanced customizable options, you can use this plugin and it will be beneficial more than Yoast SEO.
- W3 Total Cache – This plugin helps with WordPress cache. Building a cache on our website helps to deliver our website content fast and efficiently. It saves both time and bandwidth.
- WP Super Cache – This is another great plugin from Automattic. Also, this is the best alternative for W3 Total Cache. It’s totally up to you to choose what you’d prefer to install. But some hosting providers have their own set of limitations for both plugins. So it really depends on the hosting service configuration in order to test what’s best. But W3 Total Cache lets you have more control over the website cache.
Content Delivery Networks
CDN helps to deliver your content to people faster and efficiently. CDN is a collection of servers all over the world. When you access some website’s content from a few different locations it automatically connects with the nearest data center and retrieves the data which makes it faster than ordinary hosting service.
A CDN fasten your site speed, reduce server load and many more. We have listed 3 best CDN services below.
MaxCDN – Now we are talking about one of the best CDN services in the world. This service has servers all around the world and all of them are using SSDs to process and to serve the content faster. The best thing is it’s very easy to set up with WordPress by using W3 Total Cache which gives you a head upstart.
CloudFlare – This is another option you can use instead of MaxCDN. CloudFlare will not only speed up your site, but it also can protect your site from DDoS attacks and a wide variety of attacks.
Amazon CloudFront – For those who don’t mind for paying more for highly secure and fast CDN service, Amazon CloudFront is the best option.
Evernote – Evernote is undoubtedly the best note-taking app. For bloggers, Evernote helps them to plan their content, social strategy, and drafts. We use it to mark down new content ideas and to handle drafts in most of the time. Evernote is everywhere. You can sync between multiple devices at once.
Platform: Cloud, standalone apps for Windows and macOSx
Bear – Bear is an award-winning beautiful app for crafting notes. It is a very powerful tool which could replace Evernote completely.
Todoist – This tool allows you to manage tasks and projects.
Cloud Storage Services
Dropbox – Dropbox is an award-winning cloud storage partner. Dropbox helps you to store your files in the cloud and let you access them wherever you go. In WP Snappy, we use Dropbox to store our site backups and sharable files among our members of the editorial team.
Google Drive – Google drive acts the same as Dropbox do. The only difference is Google Drive provides 15GBs of storage for our files. Google drive account comes as default with a Gmail account.
Search Engine Optimization
Adobe Photoshop –
Adobe Lightroom –
Atom – Atom is an open source project from Github and is becoming popular among its users due to its possibilities.
Sublime Text – Sublime text is not a free text editor but it provides you a never-ending trial.
Visual Studio Code – One of the best product from Windows.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP in short) helps people to connect with web servers and upload, edit files. To access web servers you need to have a FTP client. These clients make it easy for people to upload files by just dragging and dropping.
Transmit – Transmit is a premium FTP client for Mac which costs you around $34. It allows you to quickly connect to your server using FTP, mount your web disk into your computer. This is basically the best FTP client ever made. Only works with the Mac operating system.
FileZilla – FileZilla is known among users for being very reputed for the last few years. The best thing about this amazing program is it’s completely free. Compatible with all 3 major operating systems (Mac, Windows, Linux).
CyberDuck – This is another great cross-platform FTP client for those who are looking for a simple but effective FTP client. CyberDuck has a cleaner interface, it’s fast and friendly. Available for free to use with both Mac and Windows platforms.
Quora – Quora is the most popular Q&A site where people can ask questions and get answers. By using this site, you can brainstorm your content ideas significantly. Quora can help you to vastly improve your audience by writing what people want to read about.
Reddit – This is another popular forum. Using Reddit you can get involved with the community you are interested in. If you are interested in the topic of WordPress, there is a community for that. If you are interested in the SEO community, it can also be found in Reddit. Pretty much anything that matters to people.
BuzzSumo – This is another great tool you can use to brainstorm your ideas. What BuzzSumo does is, it gives you insights into backlinks that your particular keyword has got. If you search “WordPress” it gives you all the links that are linked to that keyword. Also, you can write great topics using this tool.