People often ask me what particular products and services I use to run my web business. This page is where I get to talk about my favorites. Some of these are free and some cost a little bit. I am an affiliate of some of these products so if you sign up to them after clicking my link I get a commission and this can only be a good thing for the Elbinger family. In fact, if you really like me, you will make sure to come back and click on these links again directly before signing up.
This ensures that I get my small slice of the pie without costing you a penny!
Starting a Blog or Website:
- For a free blog, I recommend WordPress.com – It’s very simple
- For a professional but low-cost blog, I recommend WordPress.org – This the world’s leading free web-building software, but it does cost some money to have you site hosted, which brings me to my next point
- Recommended Web hosts: I have used Hostgator for years and I am 100% satisfied with their quality and their 24/7 tech support. Never skimp on tech support. Their hosting starts at around $100 a year. To get your first month for 1 cent, use the coupon code “1 cent”. Check out Hostgator
- Alternative cheaper web host: Some of my clients are using FatCow hosting. They are very low cost – only $56 for the first year, including your domain name. Their support seems decent. They will try and sell you everything-but-the-kitchen sink at checkout. Just say “No!” Check out FatCow
- I buy all my domains from Name.com.
SPECIAL OFFER: If you buy your hosting through my affiliate link, I will set up your first WordPress site for free. Interested? Please contact me for more information before you buy your hosting.
Web Design and Development:
- Quality Web Development Services: Contact me! I can help you with this!
- Cheap Web Development/Design Services: It’s a fact of life that sometimes we are not ready to pay for quality and we just need cheap. I’ve hired workers in the Philippines, India, and Romania and in general my experience has been OK. However, you have to choose your contractors carefully and supervise their work very closely. I wrote about my experience in depth in this article: Is it Evil to Outsource to India? My preferred outsourcing marketplaces are oDesk and Fiverr.
- Premium WordPress Themes: There are many good free WordPress themes, but using a paid premium theme can add a touch of class at a low cost. This blog is built on a paid Genesis Theme. Genesis has many stylish options and I their themes are top quality, well-maintained and have good tech support. Check out Genesis
Recommended Marketing Software:
- For Email Marketing, I use MailChimp. Their free plan is very generous – send up to 3,000 emails/month Free. Besides that, they are simply the best I’ve seen (and I’ve tried a few). Try out MailChimp
- Pop Up Software: If the goal of your website is to gather people’s email addresses or other details, then I highly recommend you use a popup. Otherwise your leads will just pass you by, never to be seen again. I use PopUp Domination because it has all the features and yet is inexpensive and so very easy to install – anyone can do it. Also it gives you a lot of flexibility about when the popup will show and how often, so you won’t annoy your visitors. I apologize for the very long and over-the-top sales page. Just skip that and try the demo. Check out PopUp Domination
- Social Media Integration: I am a big fan of AddThis social media sharing buttons and tools. For example, the black welcome bar at the top of this site is a free AddThis tool. Check out AddThis.com
- SEO: I am a huge fan of the Free Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. I use it on every site and it has everything you need to optimizing your site for search engine traffic.
- How to Promote Your Site: It’s great to have a nice site, but if you want to get people to actually visit it, you’ll need to learn the basics of web marketing. I created this introductory video: Better than Advertising
Contact me if you have any questions!