As a first-time blogger, it has been incredibly helpful to have free resources, tips and advice at hand to get this site up and running. I have done some website building in the past for other people as well, which has helped to get started with mine a bit quicker.
I hope it will be useful to someone else if I list here some of the resources that I have used for building my website and blog.
This page will evolve as my website evolves and I hope it will be of help to you. 😊
Please note: this page contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my link. This is at no extra cost to you but will help towards keeping my blog up and running. Thank you! ♥
Stock image resources
I have been using images from Unsplash through-out this website and especially on my blog post pages to illustrate my writing. The images are free to use, however, even though upon downloading you get a notification saying no credit is required, it’s still good to say thank you to the photographers whose images you are using. 🙂
Check out the Unsplash website here, and below you can find a list of the photographers whose images I have been using so far!
Thank you! 🙏😊💜
Design and image editing
Adobe Creative Cloud
Due to existing interest in graphic/web design, I was already subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud prior to starting my blog. It costs less than £10 per month and gives me unlimited access to Photoshop CC for photo editing. I make all my graphics, image editing and photo touch-ups using Photoshop, and I love it so much! ❤️
With the subscription, you get access to other cool apps too, such as Adobe Lightroom (cloud-based photo editing) and Premiere Rush (video creation and sharing), and Spark (create stunning graphics, web pages, and video stories in minutes).
There are a few more things included as well but I’ll just mention the ones I love most: Adobe Fonts – there are thousands of really beautiful and cool fonts, and Adobe Color – I use this a lot and LOVE it; you can make colour palettes, save and share them, and extract colours from images to make sure your website’s colours fit well with each other and the assets that you’re using.
Your Creative Cloud dashboard also lets you access mobile apps that can help with creating cool looking images for social and add quotes on them (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc.).
Get Adobe Creative Cloud here.
Free image editing
There are a few good free tools around as well for image editing. Canva is a great one for designing a lot of different types of images, such as images for social media, posters, infographics, flyers, presentations, and blog post banners. There are many free templates to choose from and you can also upload your own images to use. I’ve used Canva occasionally when I needed an infographic, but I’m sure you can also create some awesome Social graphics there as well, for example.
Check out Canva here.
Loads of people are using DreamHost to host their website/blog, because they are one of the most trust-worthy hosting companies out there. They’re easy to use, quick and secure, and have great support tools.
Have a look at DreamHost on their website here.
Bluehost is another popular and trusty choice for bloggers, and it is one of the 20 largest webhosting companies out there. They offer easy-to-use solutions especially for newbie bloggers, and you can get WordPress easily integrated to your site.
Check out Bluehost here.
Website theme and useful WordPress plugins
Update: since starting out with Hestia, I wanted to try out a lighter look, and settled on a theme called Soledad. It’s a premium theme, but so far has been amazing for my needs and I feel like it’s worth the investment. I’ll write more about it when I’ve been using it for a little longer.
Some helpful WordPress plugins that I can recommend include Elementor for easily building your page structure block by block. You can also download related plugins for Elementor that add some additional cool features to make building your site easier.
A plugin called GA Google Analytics helped me to connect my site to Google Analytics so I can track my site’s traffic. I copy-pasted the GA verification code into the plugin’s settings, and it linked my site easily.
To avoid spam in your blog comments, I recommend enabling the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin that should be auto-installed on all WordPress instances. If it is not, I recommend downloading it, as it can help you out a lot by automatically flagging and removing spam.
Social sharing buttons on the right-hand side of the page are from a plugin called Orbit Fox.
Well, those are some of the resources I can recommend from a perspective of someone who’s completely new to blogging specifically, but has some background in website design. I will add to the list if/when I come across any additional helpful resources to recommend in the future! 😃