We all need some tools and services to organize and manage things in our lives. I get questions about some of the resources I use and so, I decided that I should probably share this list with you.
A list like this is never static and I know I will update this list many times as I live my life and experience more changes.
But, I am eager to document here some of the important tools, products and services I use in my personal and professional life. This list is not just for your reference, but my own reference document for future as well.
I intend to share the entries in the list in the order of their importance within their category from my perspective. The idea is to give you an idea of importance although it’s not a rule to follow.
If there’s a tool I should add to my toolbox or one you think is better than the one I am using, please let me know through your comments.
You may have your own blog and if you do, I know you are already using some of these. But, here are the tools and services I use as my journey continues with my blog:
GoDaddy – When you start any website, the first thing you need to buy is, your domain name. I have used GoDaddy over the years for purchasing all my domains and managing them. They offer some great discounts on all their products and services and I make sure I use them when I am planning to buy/renew domains.
Before buying anything at GoDaddy, you may want to search for their discount coupons. I know you will thank me if you did this step.
Shared WordPress Hosting
In the order of my preference, here are a few top shared hosting companies I recommend. By the way, I am affiliated with them. That means, I will get paid by these companies if you do your purchases using these links.
- BlueHost – They are officially the #1 WordPress Recommended shared hosting service provider. You should consider BlueHost if you are new to WordPress hosting. I have clients who have been happy there for years.
If you are budget conscious and also looking for a world class and reliable service, BlueHost is definitely your goto shared WordPress hosting company. They also have a very prompt customer support.
- InMotion Hosting – I have used InMotion Hosting in the past and I was very satisfied with their service and server performance for as long as I was hosting there. The only reason I moved out from there was because I decided to have my own server since they started to complain about my website’s need for more resources.
- HostGator – They are another popular choice when it comes to shared hosting providers. Although I have personally never hosted any of my websites, some of my clients use them and they seem to be very satisfied there.
- iPage – The only reason I recommend them is, they are the cheapest service providers in shared hosting space. They offer shared hosting sometimes in $1.99 a month very frequently. A great place to try hosting some test sites or smaller blogs. I recommend them to people who are not sure if self-hosting is for them.
Managed WordPress Hosting
- Krishna World Wide Hosting – As the name suggests, this is my company and we offer managed WordPress hosting and support to our clients. This is where all my websites including this blog is hosted. You can learn more about our hosting and why you should consider a managed hosting service for your WordPress hosting by clicking here.
Although I use Standard Theme on this blog and I absolutely loved this theme when I purchased, they sold their business and closed the shop. So, no more I can recommend them. However, for most part, these are the places I go to and recommend others when someone needs a theme. I think you will find what you are looking for at one of these places:
- Themeforest – This is a theme market place. Just like eBay, it is full of all sorts of themes from different companies and individuals. You can pretty much find a WordPress theme for everything here, I mean great themes.
However, support is offered by individual sellers of the themes and usually, they do give a great good support. I have purchased many themes from here.
- StudioPress – Based on Genesis Theme framework, themes from StudioPress are a bit more expensive when compared with most others. But, their themes are very lightweight and therefore your website will load faster. Plus, they are continuously making improvement as technology changes. So, your theme will live longer than others who sell you a theme, close the shop and run away.
- Elegant Themes – They have some great looking themes as well. In fact, I have purchased a few themes from there as well and used on my websites.
WordPress is a great content management system because of its plugins and the flexibility which comes with it. Well, instead of listing all the plugins I use and recommend, I have a post which keep up-to-date anyway. So, I rather encourage you to check out my post and get to know the list of plugins I recommend to you:
Miscellaneous Blogging Tools
- GetResponse – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you need a good, solid, scalable and easy to use email marketing tool with an Autoresponder to empower your blog to collect email address from people who like your content. I use GetResponse as my email marketing software and highly recommend it although I used to use Aweber earlier. Aweber is a good company although I had to move away from them when I realized they also charge for unsubscribers.
- ManageWP – I have many websites to manage and I find it very easy to clean them all, back them up all and keep them all updated from one single place. ManageWP does a great job of letting me manage all my websites (including backup) from one place without the trouble of logging into each website individually and checking. It is a premium service but it is worth it.
- Better WP Security – This is one of the best security plugins for WordPress available for free. I have used this plugin on many client websites to tighten their WordPress security and lock down some of the vulnerabilities. A great plugin to have if you haven’t implemented important security measures so far.
Note: We do not use this plugin on our managed hosting servers anymore because we already have implemented Sucuri for security monitoring which does the same job and more.
- Sucuri – This is an internet security company dedicated to provide security monitoring and malware cleaning services to webmasters. The team at Sucuri are experts in cleaning up hacked sites. Usually, for a yearly fee you will get malware monitoring and malware removal services with them.
For our clients, we provide a free server side scanning and monitoring services by Sucuri. That is another good reason why our Krishna World Wide Hosting service stands out!
- MaxCDN – You need a CDN (content delivery network) service when you need to provide a uniform browsing experience to your visitors around the world. I use MaxCDN on this website and I have been extremely satisfied with my site’s performance since then. You can lean about my experience with MaxCDN by visiting this post I write a few months ago.
- Feedburner – I use Feedburner to manage my RSS feed. It is a free service owned by Google. It is easy to set up and it just gives another tool in your toolbox to market your blog to some RSS feed directories while pleasing some people who only like RSS feeds.
- Google Analytics – As a lot of people say it, this is the gold standard when it comes to analytics on your websites. Interestingly, the more you use it, the more you love it. If you want to track your unique visitors, page views, bounce rate, and many other metrics, you definitely need to sign up for a free account with Google Analytics and start using it.
- DepositPhotos: If you want your blog posts to get noticed and ranked higher in search engines, you need to use photos in your pages. Remember, a picture speaks more than a thousand words?
Pictures pull people into the content and therefore, you should use them as much as possible. While I also use Flickr.com like websites for free images, it takes a lot of time to find a good one in free repositories. So, I go straight to DepositPhotos where I know I will get a picture which fits my criteria and I will find it quickly.
- ShareASale.com – This is an affiliate network that basically allows you to find products that you can promote and make affiliate income. Also, if you have your own products you can use it to setup your own affiliate program. I find them very intuitive and easy to use.
- Popup Domination – This is another very popular popup plugins used by many top bloggers around the world. It comes as a plugin and presents you with a very nicely design set of popup forms you can show to your visitors at different times and prompt them take action. I use this plugin on this website as I find it appropriate.
- DropBox – This is the application I use (and probably you use already too). This a great way to store your files on cloud, share them with family, friends and business associates. As a blogger you can use it to store your website backups so you can get to them anytime you need from anywhere.
If you haven’t signed up for DropBox yet, Sign up now for free in 2 minutes and start synching important files from your local drive to the cloud right away.
- Evernote – This is my digital diary. I store everything here: notes, blog post drafts, meeting notes, recordings, receipts, shopping list – pretty much anything which could be stored digitally to access from my iPhone.
- Genius Scan – This is how I convert all paper to my digital world. This is a phenomenal App on my iPhone which I simply use to scan any document and inserts it into Evernote as PDF or JPG or, send it to myself as an email.
- Google Calendar: This is a no brainer. Especially since iPhone days, we all use calendars more of less on a daily basis. Google Calendar provides all the functionality I need in terms of making it accessible by people who matter to me. Not just that, I use Google Calendar for maintaining my blogging schedule as well.
- Wunderlist – This is my task management system for most part. I have tried many task management systems from simple ones to some of the most complex ones. But Wunderlist is where my search stopped. This gives the functionality I need and for more, refer to my post on Wunderlist I shared sometime ago.
- Trello – This is another task management system I use (in fact I love using) where I know that my tasks are repetitive in nature (such as grocery list- I need to buy some and then also know what I already have and then repeat the process) or cases where the task takes longer to do (so it goes into work-in-progress mode). Trello does a great job of providing that real life experience of maintaining task lists in real way. Try it and you will know what I am talking about.
- Pocket – This is an excellent application where I store websites (something like delicious of old days) which I want to refer to a bit later. That’s exactly this app is supposed to be used for. You can easily add URLs to your pocket and read them later when you have time.
- Buffer: This is such an easy to use Twitter management app that it became popular very fast. Well, I loved it the moment I saw it and since then I have been using it.
The ability to define your own sharing times and then let the tool spread out the tweets you add to the queue is simply elegant.
The only thing is, they only allow you to add 10 tweets in your queue at a time when you are using their free version.
- HootSuite – Of course, like many entrepreneurs online, I love HootSuite too. This is my Twitter dashboard in true sense although I also use it for Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn as well.
It allows me to monitor direct messages and especially mentions making my life easier when it comes to dealing with Twitter.
Note: I wrote a post comparing HootSuite and Buffer a few months ago seeking opinions from others. But the reaction was mixed. People seem to love both just like I expected. Check out the post by clicking here.
- JustRetweet – This is something I use to collaborate with other bloggers and content publishers on social promotion of my blog posts. It works out great because I tweet their posts (you have the ability to evaluate if you want to tweet something or ignore it) and offer my tweets for others to do the same.
When you tweet somebody’s content, you get points and you can use those points to encourage others to tweet your content. You should try this if you haven’t.
Books I Must Read Every Year
This is not a normal list of books I recommend. You already know that I read everyday and once in a while I also write some reviews on books I find very interesting or those who added an amazing value to me.
But, this list is a special list of books that I make a point to dedicate some time to each year of my life. These are like text book to me which I must read every year to make me feel I did spend time refreshing my brain with the nuggets of wisdom that comes through these books:
- Bhagavad Gita
- Think And Grow Rich
- How To Win Friends And Influence People
- The Greatest Salesman In The World
I have not included a link to these books on purpose because I want you to do your own research and see if you would like to get them for yourself in any format. In case you want to find it on amazon, here is a search box you can use to find these on Amazon:
What Tools Do You Use?
What are some the tools that you use and recommend? Is there a tool in blogging/social media/productivity or even books area which you would like to recommend?
Please share your thoughts in your comments. Click here to go to comments section or simply scroll down. Thank you kindly!
Excellent list Kumar! I am huge on hootsuite pro. I have used it for about 6 months – the paid version – and the tool has cut down my workload by 1 or more hours daily. Being able to hop in and out of social sites, adding my take, engaging, retweeting and sharing through 1 app is a must for any online entrepreneur.
In addition to this list I would share that bloggers need to know why they want to do the online bit, and then you can find any tools that you need for the task.
Absolutely Ryan! I love HootSuite for the same reasons although I haven’t gone to the Pro version yet. Thank you for sharing your testimonial about it.
Thank you for dropping by and have a terrific Thursday!
Thank you for the review on HootSuite. I have started using it form last week and was confused about the Pro version. But your comment has forced me to think about the Pro features.
I will be absolutely delighted if I find a tutorial guide on Hootsuite Pro version from you… 🙂
This is my 1st comment on your blog… I wish this is a beginning of a new friendship…:)
This list is very impressive, BUT only problem about this list is you will NEVER be able to complete this list… Am I right???..
Every day new tools are releasing with more awesome features.
I can add few more tools like:
2. You forgot about CommentLuv.
3. Getresponse is a good one. Less price more subscriber than Aweber but has all the features.
4. There are many Keyword research tools like Moz, Google Keyword Planner, Long tail Pro etc.
5. Raven tools
6. Majestic SEO
The list will go on and on… 🙂
First of all, nice to meet you and thank you for stopping by to add value. This certainly is the beginning of a new friendship and a great way to start it 🙂
And you are right about this list not being ever complete. And also about me forgetting about including CommentLuv even though I use their premium version. I will include it in the next revision for sure.
Thank you for suggesting some more tools. I guess I can try some of them as well and perhaps include them if I start to use them 🙂 obviously because I can only include what I use according to my title, right?
Have a glorious rest of the week!
That’s a fantastic list, it’s actually made my saved list and I don’t do that often! IT woudl be awesome if you can edit and add Blog Engage under the Social Media section, we have an affiliate program as well. I’ve used so many of your suggestions and I’m still doing it. I suggest also adding dlvr.it and mailchimp they are fantastic services.
Thank you for dropping by and Blog Engage is definitely in the list of tools I may edit my post include soon. The reason I haven’t included it yet is – I have just started to use it and I want to make sure I am able to use if effectively before I claim that I am using it 🙂
But I am going to be with you guys more often than I have been there so far and the goal is to make it my favorite platform so I can talk about it proudly. Looking forward for that.
Thank you for your value addition. Appreciate your feedback! Have a great day!
That’s a fantastic idea, now I have given you new products to try, I know you will love them. I hope to see you engaging with us on Blog Engage daily! Come make the most out of the community don’t let success slip between your fingertips. Thanks for the engagement here on the blog! It’s looking fantastic by the way 🙂
I have tried many of these tools (of course, at different times…I like switching my tools every 2-3 months). It makes life more interesting (perhaps even novel, if the service switched their design and added more features).
One thing I am certainly planning to do is switch over to a new webhost – Fat cow, actually. It was my first preference for a long time..always liked that company for some reason (of course, I didn’t buy it….instead I went with the recommendation of many of my friends – Host gator).
It was pretty good (But, I don’t see many HG reviews – I mean, good reviews – these days).
Anyways, thank you for the resource list, Kumar 🙂 Hope your week is going well!
Yes, trying different things certainly keeps life interesting. Glad you are on the edge and enjoying the adventure! Good for you!
Thanks Jeevan. You have a great weekend as well my friend. And good luck with Fat Cow!
What a great list! I haven’t used trello yet but I’m hearing really good things about it so I’m going to check it out this weekend, just put it on my list!
Thanks for an awesome list,
You should definitely try Trello and I know you are going to love it.
I got hooked onto it the first time I understood what it can do 🙂
This first thing I was nodding my head about is using coupons to purchase or renew domains. I always search for coupons before buying and I have my trusty sites saved just for that.
Great list by the way and I see you have Pocket included as well. Gosh, you’ve really covered so much so I don’t really have much to add. I mean I use TweetDeck and Buffer for Twitter but so many love Hootsuite. I think it’s just a personal preference myself.
This is a great list to share though and I’ll have to make sure I share this one with my friends too. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this one together. Awesome job.
Thank you Adrienne for sharing about TweetDeck. That is a great tool for Twitter as well although I don’t use it personally because HootSuite lets me manage other networks as well.
But it is a great tool and thank you for dropping by and yes, also for your words if appreciation 🙂
Have a great Thursday and rest of the week as well!
What’s in my toolbox? Let’s see… my best tool of all is Krishna World Wide Hosting and Sucuri that comes with it.
I love Evernote, and use it all the time and am just staring to use Trello.
I have read snippets of Bhagavad Gita online here and there, but I’ve never read the book. I will put this one on my MUST READ list. Thanks Kumar!
Have a grand weekend!
Aha! Thank you for the love Bill. Appreciate your friendship!!
Thanks Kumar for such a wonderful list.. It’s really a great stuff for me… I will surely your recommended tools to improve blog… The productivity tools in this list are really great.. I have just started using Evernote… Do you know website where I can learn Evernote ?
Evernote itself has tremendous amount of tutorials and in addition, just make a simple Google search “How to use Evernote” and you will not be disappointed 🙂
Good luck with Evernote and I tell you, you are going to love it.
Thanks for dropping by and sharing your appreciation.
You have really impressed me with your list! This will definitely be a great reference to me as it will be to you.
I’m so glad that you mentioned Sucuri. When I had malware I was pretty much at a lost until I was recommended to use Sucuri. Once I paid for their services, they took care of the malware problem I had.
Also I read a couple of blog posts about using a theme based on the Genesis framework. I checked it out and yes it’s not cheap, but I can see that it will be beneficial in the long run.
Thanks for sharing this great list!
Sucuri is a great service Sherman and what I like about them the most is the depth of their mastery in this domain.
That is why I offer free sucuri’s coverage for my hosting clients. Sucuri also has an awesome WordPress plugin which replaces captcha, LimitLoginAttempts and adds features to patch a couple of other security holes and I am also adding that plugin at no charge to my hosting clients as well.
Glad you enjoyed the list and found it resourceful. Thank you for dropping by ad sharing your thoughts!
Have a great weekend my friend!
Hello Mr. Kumar
What a great list of some tools that will help us in our blogging endeavors. Thank you for taking time to research the list and share it with us.
I currently use Wunderlist, Evernote (the paid one) and Drop box(which I am still learning it)
But as I grow my site, I will add what I need.
Thank you again and have a wonderful weekend
Wow! You are already using the pro version of Evernote? That is awesome! Looks like you are using it even more effectively than I do. Thank you for that inspiration!
Dropbox is my favorite as well and I know you are figuring it out. If you have any questions about it, please let me know.
Hi Kumar, Yes, I use quite a few tools, and many of the ones you have listed here. Dropbox and Evernote are essentials for me. How do people get by without them? I also use Buffer and Rite Tag to time my sharing. My favorite plugins are Share Juice Pro and CommentLuv. I also use Boomerang to manage my emails.
I use PicMonkey to edit and compress my images before loading them onto my blog.
Great list, Kumar. Thanks for sharing your secrets to success!
Wow! You have a great list of tools as well in your toolbox. I use Paint.net for my image editing although I am definitely going to check out PicMonkey too just to see if it has any better features than I already have.
And of course I use CommentLuv too. I guess I need to update my list and include this awesome commenting system in the list explicitly. Thank you for the mention of it.
Have a wonderful day ahead!
These tools of yours are not only awesome, there are very practical as well. I use about 95% of them myself and can attest to their greatness and functionality…the only one I cannot sincerly vouch for is Sucuri…and the reason is known!
We have the same taste in books, it seems. If you add Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Kiyosaki, that list would most certainly be mine!
I completely understand your reservations about Sucuri and that is for obvious reasons. But then, probably it is because a lot of web spammers from your range of IP have caused this reputation issue in their system and that is the reason the system tries to suspect you too.
But I have white listed your IP addresses and you should be good to go now on 🙂
The reason I had to implement Sucuri is obvious. The more popularity my blog is getting, the more attacks are coming. People trying to break into my WordPress, trying brute force attacks were getting me worried. So, I implemented Sucuri and now at least I have two benefits:
1. My sites are being monitored for security breach.
2. If my site gets hacked for any reason, they will fix it quickly.
Isn’t that a peace of mind knowing how scary place the internet is anyway? 🙂
I am glad you are able to comment now and we are back to exchange thoughts again as usual. Have a great day my friend!
Sorry for being a little late this time – had my Dad visiting us for a few days and he just left yesterday, so here I am 🙂
Awesome list indeed! Yes, I have used most of the things your mentioned, though a few were new to me, especially the security ones you are using. I use a lot of free images through various sites, which just require us to credit the site or photographer, and so far that works well for me so far. I think I better sit over the weekend and check out the others from this list.
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂
Sorry that I’m late, but WOW! I just love this list of goodies you have given us. My latest and GREATEST is
Krishna World Wide Hosting! Now you know how much was going on with my blog and especially the membership site I created.
A month went by while I waited for things to get together. It the most frustrating experience. Until……
We signed up with your hosting.
I know so many of my friends that are having difficulty with their hosting platform, and connecting it to other things. Plus there is very slow customer service. But with Krishna World Wide Hosting, anytime I need something you are there. You are even there when I’m not asking. You also notice so many things and really saved my site…I have to thank you for that!
The other thing I just did was change from Get Response to Sendreach. A lot more flexibility and customization. So far so good!
Thank you Once Again!
Hello Kumar! All I can say is Wow this article is jam packed with so much information. You mention Themes yet none that are free. I guess I am wondering why? Well I do have some free time here now so I am off to check out trello and yes a few more tools that you have suggested here,
Thank you for sharing..Chery 🙂
This is a terrific list of resources!. I use GoDaddy as my domain registrar too. I think they have one of the easier domain management panels.
Searching for a coupon before making a purchase is a good tip. People should watch their GoDaddy emails too because they’ll often email coupon codes in reminder notices.
I don’t know if I’m just lucky but I recently won a contest for a developers subscription to Elegant Themesand I won another contest for a theme from
ThemeFuse. So, bloggers on a budget should keep an eye out for contests.
I am always amazed by the number of people who use HootSuite. One of these days, I may try it again.
Good luck with your hosting company and thanks for a great list!
Congratulations on winning a development subscription to Elegant Thems and you being technically savvy I can imagine how powerul that is. And on top of that again the same thing in Themefuse as well? It looks like you really have got some good control on these contests 🙂 Way to go!
And yes, HootSuite? In fact, this is the only tool I use the most on a day-to-day basis for the ease of use and may be so especially because it lets me monitor multiple social networks from one dashboard. You should definitely give it another chance 🙂
Have a great new week!
Sorry for being here so late on your blog post, but I’ve spent most of the weekend in my bed with a bad, bad cold.
You’ve certainly given us a great list here. While I know many of these tools, there’re plenty that I do not know yet.
Thanks and have a wonderful week!
Great list Kumar! I love the Buffer, it’s probably my #1 tool. I have used Hootsuite but find Buffer quicker and easier to use. I would add WordFence for security. I also love Yoast for SEO and I still use Hostgator. They have been good with their customer support so I have no reason to jump to another as many other bloggers have over the past year or so. It’s amazing how many tools we rely on for our blogs Kumar. Thanks for sharing these, I have a friend just starting out and this would be a great post for them to read.
Thank you for dropping by Lisa. Yes, Buffer is awesome!
And yeah, we know how many tools we depend on when we make a list like this. When I started to build this list, I was amazed too because I didn’t know my list was so big 🙂
Have a great day and thank you for helping your friend. I think new people really need our help and support and I am glad you are being there for your friend.
Yes Kumar there are many resources out there for WordPress
I use the Thesis theme as it has a great support forum with skilled monitors to answer any questions
I tried Genesis but had little support and more complicated to customise
thank you for sharing these Tools. But since you mentioned in another blog post, that you’ve switched from AWEBER to GetResponse, you should adapt this blog at that Point… 🙂
Great point Thomas. I will update this post now 🙂
Thanks on your marvellous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and will come back at some point. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great job, have a nice day!
Really good list for those just getting started, will bookmark for future use. I definitely recommend looking for coupons for web hosting such as godaddy and hostgator as you can save quite a bit on those sites (got hosting for $1 on HostGator using the “1CENT” coupon). There are also some good deals on various WordPress sites as well that can be worth a look. Thanks for the great post 🙂
Very impressive list there! The Yoast SEO plugin for WP is a must in my book for WP based sites/blogs. Easy to understand and use even for a novice!
Awesome list of these essential tools for making our workflow productive. You should consider including some of the newer project management kind of tools, to make this list perfect.