Here’s a list of resources I often recommend and use myself. Looking for information or resources on something in particular? Get in touch.
- WordPress Hosting & Theme resources
- Website resources
- Travel resources
- Food Photography resources
- Italy resources
I absolutely recommend WordPress software as the best way to build your own website or blog. A++ 100% :) I work for WordPress.com, and I have many sites hosted there, so I suggest checking it out to see if it’s right for you. I wrote an article about this on my tech & business site, Ask the Geek: Should I Host my site on WordPress.com? A base account is absolutely free & provides a lot of great features.
Here’s my Quick & Dirty Guide to Getting Started with WordPress, and more on How to Choose Web Hosting for your Website or Blog.
If you’re set on self-hosting your WordPress site, I can recommend a few hosting providers:
- Dreamhost. I have been hosting several WordPress sites there for years. I moved this site over there from another web hosting last year and I bet you didn’t even notice!
- Bluehost. They also have a 1-click install for WordPress sites and a great support staff.
And if you’re using WordPress, you really need the free Jetpack plugin. Again, it’s made by people I work with, but it is awesome and in one plugin you have spam protection, related posts with images, cool photo galleries, statistics, even site monitoring in case your site goes down! Read also my Plugin Advice for WordPress Newbies.
For more information on building / growing your website, I definitely suggest checking out my business & technology site, When I Have Time. Here are articles about websites & blog, & my full archives. I even have an “Ask the Geek” series if you have any questions.
WordPress Theme Resources
There are 300+ themes on WordPress.com if you decide to host your site at WordPress.com. There are thousands of free themes for self-hosted sites. After installing WordPress, you can get started looking at themes by going to your dashboard Appearance > Themes and browse, or browse directly on the WordPress.org theme directory.
I go into detail on Ask the Geek: How Do I Find and Install a WordPress theme?
If you’d rather buy a premium theme by a WordPress theme shop, be sure to browse the list of commercial theme developers on the WordPress.org site instead of searching directly in Google, as not all themes you can find online will be quality themes.
My current theme is a paid theme, Foodie Pro from StudioPress, and they offer many other themes.
I provide countless hours of advice and support for friends and family with small businesses and startups. The website is a natural step for what’s next.
Here’s some of that advice:
- Ask The Geek : How Do I Start Building My E-Commerce Site?
- Ask the Geek: How Should I Monetize my Website? Advertising And Understanding Website Conversions
- Ask The Geek: Should I Consolidate My Websites?
And some tools I recommend:
- For newsletters, I use MailChimp for most things. If you’re using WordPress, you can use the MailPoet plugin directly from within WordPress! With that being said, if you’re not signed up for my newsletter, here’s your chance!
- On my business & technology site are some podcasts I recommend, and check out the podcast I co-host, Eye on Italy!
- If you like audio books, you can get two free audio books at Audible by using this link.
- For editing images, open source GIMP is a good (& free!) option. I even wrote a tutorial on 7 easy Photoshop tricks to do with GIMP.
- For free images to use with your own content, I think looking through Creative Commons images on Flickr is a great way. Here’s more on finding images safely and legally for your content, and what Creative Commons is.
Personal and Productivity Resources
- For writing content, Scrivener is amazing, especially for longer form and/or novels. I use TextWrangler for (desktop) note-taking and drafts, and if I was still using a Windows machine, I would be using Windows Live Writer, quite possibly my favorite software Windows has created.
- For lists and to-dos (which I love), I can heartily recommend Wunderlist which I’ve been using for several years.
- To save keystrokes by auto-inserting commonly used phrases, I love TextExpander.
- For reading online content, I love Feedly. I’m a paid Pro user!
- For business cards, I love Moo and have been using them since 2007. They are beautiful! You can get 10% off by using this link.
I’m a big fan of ebooks (as evidenced by all of the articles here about ebooks), and I even have a few ebooks published (check out How to Order an Italian Coffee in Italy on Amazon).
- Ask the Geek: How do I prepare my blog content to publish as an ebook?
- Getting started with self-publishing: ebooks
- A Guide to Ebooks
- How to publish an ebook with Kindle in 7 easy steps
I love photography! Some of my photos are for sale on Getty Images.
Photos were taken with a point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot S230 through March 2007, and thereafter they are mixed with shots from a Canon Rebel through October 2010. I now use a Canon 7D or my iPhone 6, whichever camera I have with me.
Visit my Amazon store for the Food Blogging & Photography section for some information on my camera, favorite lens, books, and accessories.
For more on the “how,” read:
- Ask the Geek: How do I improve my photography with my DSLR?
- Ask the Geek: Should I use a publisher or self-publish my ebook?
- Ask the Geek: How should I price my photo?
- Writers: Images on the Internet are not your ClipArt Gallery (aka how to find and use images legally and safely on the Internet)
- Photography Tips for Better Photos, No Matter What Camera You Have
- 7 Easy Photoshop Tricks you can do with GIMP software (for Free!)
- Ask the Geek: How Do I Copyright my Photos? And Should I?
Interested in more about How I Travel? I have a series called just that! You can see What I Put in My Carry-on, My Packing List & Preparation Tips, How I Fight Jet Lag, and other posts in the series. I use TripIt (Pro) to track my travel.
Looking for information about Italy? Here are some resources I’ve gathered for you on this site:
- Rome — where to eat and what to do, by friends & people who do that for a living (i.e., not me).
- Italy & Milan links — a gathering of helpful links & networking opportunities.
- Help! How do I live & work in Italy? — seriously all I know and recommend.
- Ask Ms. Adventures series — I answered some common questions about Italy.
Note: A few links are affiliate. Thanks for supporting this site!