52 Links to Help You Build Your WordPress Website

WordPress logoIs a portable career part of your plan for an untethered expat life? If it includes a WordPress website or blog, here are 52 links to help you get started. I’ve tried to arrange them in roughly the order you’ll need them. (And yes, some of them are affiliate links.)

Domain Name Registration and Hosting

Before you can have a website, you need a domain name, and a place to host the site. Many people start with shared hosting, which is inexpensive, but plan to move up to managed hosting once you have some revenue. (Or, if you’re starting a solopreneur business, start with managed hosting.)

  1. Domain Name registration with Namecheap
  2. Shared WordPress hosting with Siteground (excellent for starting bloggers and freelancers)
  3. Managed WordPress hosting with StudioPress Sites (better for freelancers and solopreneurs)
  4. Managed WordPress hosting with WPEngine (better for freelancers and solopreneurs)</ p>

Downloading and Installing WordPress

If you’re using shared hosting from Siteground, or other popular shared hosts, you’ll be able to use one of the WordPress auto-installers through the cPanel. If you have to set it up manually, though, you’ll want these.

  1. Download the latest version of WordPress
  2. Filezilla, a free FTP program

WordPress Themes

My two go-to theme designers. . .

  1. Studio Press, creators of the highly rated Genesis Framework and a wide variety of child themes
  2. Elegant Themes, creators of “amazingly beautiful” themes for WordPress. For a modest annual fee you can use all of their themes.
  3. Free themes from WordPress.org.

WordPress Plugins

Every site has different plugin needs, but these are the ones I use most often. There are four I install on every site – I’ve denoted these with an asterisk(*).

  1. *All in One WP Security to improve your website’s safety and security. You can never make it completely hacker proof, but installing this plugin is one of the things you can do to avoid those opportunistic hacks
  2. *WP-DB Manager for backups and database management
  3. Updraft Plus for backups
  4. *Yoast SEO for help with search engine optimization and keywords
  5. Google Analytics for WordPress so you know where you stand
  6. If you’re using a StudioPress theme, add the Genesis Responsive Slider to dress up your home page
  7. Make it easy for visitors to share your best stuff with Social Warfare
  8. If you’re going to be selling anything on your site, you’ll need top-quality landing pages. Use Beaver Builder with any WordPress theme to easily create landing pages
  9. For a dedicated membership site plugin check out Wishlist Member
  10. *Fast Secure Contact Form
  11. Ninja Forms
  12. Contact Form 7
  13. Smush, for image compression and optimization

WordPress Books and Tutorials

  1. WordPress Building Blocks
  2. Video Training Courses from WP Apprentice
  3. 31 Days to Build a Better Blog
  4. BlogWise: How to Do More with Less
  5. Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers
  6. ProBlogger’s Guide to Blogging for Your Business
  7. ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging
  8. The Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing</ p>

Help with Writing

There are tons of writing resources available. These are the ones that have helped me the most.

  1. American Writers and Artists, Inc. (AWAI)
  2. Wealthy Web Writer
  3. Copyblogger
  4. Make a Living Writing
  5. Smart Blogger</ p>

Help with Social Media

  1. CoSchedule, the all-around best editorial calendar, task list, and social media automation tool
  2. Nelio Content (CoSchedule’s less expensive cousin)
  3. Hootsuite, to manage all your social media accounts in one place
  4. Meet Edgar, for social media automation</ p>

Help with Productivity

  1. Trello, for the best in kanban-style project management
  2. TeamworkPM if you prefer a more traditional style of project manager
  3. Toggl, to keep track of billable time
  4. Google Drive, which includes documents, spreadsheets, drawings, forms, and more. I’d be lost without it! It makes collaborating on documents absolutely painless.
  5. Evernote, for keeping everything in one place
  6. Slack, for fast and easy group communications, ideal for teams
  7. AppSumo, for heavily reduced (and sometimes free) prices on helpful apps and programs
  8. Google Analytics, for your web stats</ p>

Help with Images

  1. Pixabay, free, royalty-free images you can use on your WordPress site
  2. Canva, online tools to help you create beautiful images for sharing on your site and social media
  3. iStock, royalty-free images at reasonable prices

This post was updated August 31, 2017.


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