Top 7 tools and resources for your website

The one place online you own and control is your website, making its importance obvious. It’s your home base, where people can go to learn more about you and your business.

But let’s be real: creating a website isn’t easy. All the options, platforms, plugin’s, and development that goes into a website can be overwhelming, to say the least.

These tools and resources are ones that have helped us effectively manage an ever-growing website without going crazy. Of course, we can’t do it all alone, so I’ve included some incredible recommended services for those of you looking for the more “done for you” approach!

WordPress for publishing your site

I talk about the reasons why we use and love WordPress in Season 3, Episode 4 as it relates to content creation, so you can check out that post and episode out for more details.

Simply put, WordPress is the strongest leader in the website publishing space when it comes to building your website on a platform you can do just about anything with. But this is definitely not to say it’s the only option, and there are probably better options out there for you depending on your specific needs.

Let’s take a look at some of those options…

Compare this tool

Podcast Websites: Your all-in-one podcast website solution, which includes pre-loaded plugin’s, a stats dashboard, podcast hosting, and personalized support — built on WordPress, specifically for podcasters. (co-founded by EOFire)

You can check out PodcastersParadise.com, which is built on and supported by Podcast Websites.

Squarespace: Set your website apart; drag and drop your way to a beautiful website! (past sponsors of EOFire)

Shopify: For all you eCommerce lovers out there — running an online store can be tough; with Shopify, you’ve got everything you need to showcase your products, plus a backend that can handle payments and reports. (affiliate link)

You can check out TheFreedomJournal.com, which is built on WordPress, with a shop supported by Shopify.

BlueHost for hosting your site

How I use BlueHost

EOFire started out as a website hosted on BlueHost, and I’ve also personally used BlueHost for my own website in the past. I’ve always had a great experience with the on-boarding process and ongoing support.

Why I love BlueHost

I love BlueHost because it’s super affordable and it’s simple. You can start hosting your website for just $2.95 / month using EOFire’s affiliate link.

*Note: When choosing your host, it’s a great time to ask questions and figure out what options are available for you to add a backup tool and potentially a security tool to your website. These options typically can be built in with your hosting cost.

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Podcast Websites: If you’re a podcaster, then this is the way to go. You have everything you need to host your website and your podcast — PLUS personalized support — all in one place.

WPEngine: WPEngine is what we currently use to host EOFire.com. The reason we switched from BlueHost is because the support level and bandwidth we’re currently running on required more than what BlueHost could offer for the price point.

They do offer a 60 day free trial, then plans start at $30 / month.

GoDaddy: I use GoDaddy to purchase the actual domain I want, and if I’m not going to be actively using the site, I will “park” it with them. They also offer hosting packages that are very reasonable — starting at $3.99 / month — and in my experience, their support is always reachable and really great.

Thrive Leads for opt in pop up

How I use Thrive Leads

When you visit EOFire.com, you might get served a pop up opt in offer — something like “Enter your email below to learn the 11 Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs”. That pop up is supported and run through Thrive Leads.

Why I love Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is an easy-to-use WordPress plugin that helps you a/b test and customize the pop ups on your website. You have control over everything — including where your pop ups show up, and when they show up.

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Optin Monster: We used Optin Monster for over a year here at EOFire, and we loved it. We switched to Thrive Leads simply to check out a new platform. Both are great! Optin Monster starts at $49 / year.

FireUP: FireUP is currently in beta, and it’s a suite of traffic and conversion apps built by yours truly. We’re super excited to launch FireUP, and you can see it in action at PodcastersParadise.com.

SumoMe: The tools and apps available through SumoMe go way beyond just your website’s pop up box. Each individual tool is separate and is on a different pricing structure. Learn more at sumome.com.

Disqus for comments

How I use Disqus

Disqus is the Wordpress plugin we use for engagement and comments on the blog — for free!

Why I love Disqus

Disqus helps keep spam off our blog and it gives us a direct connection to our audience.

Being able to request and receive feedback on specific blog posts is incredibly helpful when it comes to understanding what type of content helps our audience the most. Plus, it’s a great way for us to engage with our audience one-on-one!

Compare this tool

When it comes to commenting plugins it’s really about your personal preference and how you want it to look visually. If you’re trying to decide which one to use, check out each of the sites below and see how each one looks. They’re all great tools and provide similar functions.

Easy Social Share Buttons

How I use Easy Social Share Buttons

Easy Social Share Buttons give us the ability to have social sharing icons on our blog posts and podcast episodes so that our audience can share our content on social media.

Why I love Easy Social Share Buttons

You can download Easy Social Share for $19 and install it on your WordPress site, and it will allow you to customize how you want your social share buttons to show up.

Giving your audience the opportunity to share your content on social media will help you get the word out, and who doesn’t need a little help getting the word out?

Compare this tool

There are so many different options for social media share buttons that I could list dozens here; the one that comes up on WordPress with high ratings and that’s free is MashShare.

I don’t know too much about this plugin, but from the feedback and updates they’ve made recently, it looks like a great tool.

Redirection for quick links

How I use Redirection

Redirection is the tool we use to be able to create quick (or short) links on our website.

For example, when John says “visit EOFirebook.com”, you will be redirected to Audible’s site. Likewise, when I say visit EOFire.com/episode45, you’ll notice when you visit that link, it directs you to a different URL.

Why I love Redirection

Creating quick links helps you create strong and easy-to-follow calls to action for any page or post on your website. It even helps you create easy-to-follow links for affiliates (like EOFirebook.com) or for other web pages / resources outside of your own domain that you want to share. Plus, it’s free!

You can check out this function on your WordPress dashboard under Tools > Redirection.

Compare this tool

Pretty Link Pro: Pretty Link is what we initially used for our quick links here at EOFire, but we quickly realized (around episode 300) that it wasn’t designed to support hundreds and hundreds of quick links.

Pretty Link is a great tool, and it’s just $49 to download and install.

Yoast SEO for SEO

I talk about Yoast SEO in detail in Season 3, Episode 4 as it relates to content creation, and that’s really the gist of how we use this tool and why it’s so great.

Recommended resources

Sometimes I really wish I knew the in’s and out’s of WordPress, CSS coding, themes, plugins, updates, backups… and other times I’m SO grateful that I recognize what my true strengths are (insert: NOT all of these things).

Our true strengths are what have the potential to set us apart, because when we use our true strengths we not only feel amazing ourselves — because we’re kicking butt and taking names — but we also get to step into our zone and that’s when we serve our audience in the best way we know how.

If your strengths aren’t all things websites, then here are some recommended resources to help you along the way.

Up next in Season 3

We’ve covered A LOT here in Season 3 thus far, and in our next episode we’re going to dive into tools and resources for your social media.

I’m anxious to share the tools and resources we use here at EOFire because they’ve changed the way we were able to first build, and now sustain, a strong online presence.


Originally published at www.eofire.com on August 22, 2016.

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