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! 🙏😊❤️

If I have used your image, I try my best to remember to add your name to the list above. So sorry, if I ever forget! Please don’t hesitate to contact me via Twitter to remind me, and I’ll add it in.

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.

Web hosting

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

Theme
I’ve built my website using WordPress, and there are loads and loads of awesome themes both free and premium. After trying out a few free ones I settled on the basic Hestia theme, and so far it’s been really easy, customisable and pleasant to use!

I might even get the Pro version, although I will need to save money for it first, so it won’t be anytime soon. With the Pro version, I would have more control over advanced typography settings, for example. I think a more basic, free version, is totally fine to use though, especially when starting out. 😊
 
Find Hestia here.
More information on WordPress, see here.
Useful plugins

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.

I am using a plugin called GDPR Cookie Consent to add a notification to the site telling visitors that you are using cookies to collect user information. If I want to use e.g. Google Analytics to gather traffic information, it will use cookies to do that. With the recent GDPR law, it’s recommended to display the cookies banner on your blog. I tried a couple of different cookie banner plugins and found that the above one is quite easy and straightforward to use. 

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! 😃