for your blog or business (you’re my favourite!)
These are some of my favourite companies I use to run my business. Most were chosen after trying other options and some were the recommendations of other battle-scarred entrepreneurs, saving me untold hours or months of teeth-gnashing frustration.
Know that I am NOT a technical person. I LOVE tech when it works but it’s my kryptonite when it’s not. I cannot code, hire other people to move websites from one host to another and leverage the power of Facebook groups for shared tech expertise pretty much every day. I also value decent customer service, so these companies, in what I’ve experienced, offer that.
It’s like walking through a tropical jungle – it’s easier when there’s someone else ahead of you with a machete, chopping out a path and scaring away killer snakes and spiders (I grew up in Australia where poisonous animals are real, although not so much in the UK where I now live – whew!)
Not that running your own business is actually a risk to life and limb. But why not leverage the learning of others?
So here you are – my list of favourite tools, resources and teachers. Please note that some of the links are affiliate links, meaning that I may receive compensation if you click through and make a purchase.
Siteground, mainly because of their 24-hour chat support kindness when I start with: ‘I want to do x and am not technical, can you help?’ and they do. Their support articles are thorough and have screenshots if you’re DIY or just need a snippet of information.
The thing you’re paying for – to actually host your website pretty much 100% of the time – they also do well. And there’s an automated migration plug-in you can use when you sign up to Siteground to move from your current host. See hosting packages HERE.
I use Elegant Theme’s Divi and a child theme to build WordPress websites. The Divi love-in started about five years ago, but without the child theme. It’s fair to say the websites were functional but dull, because I’m not a designer and I spent most of my time working on SEO. That worked really well, thanks for asking. I was number one for the main keywords I targeted. Yay!
Then I discovered child themes, which save all the customisation of the parent Divi theme and have styling from actual designers like Melissa Love at The Design Space, who built this website (yes, with Divi). So you can create your website just the way you want with style – DIY with all the sequins/minimalism/eagles built in, depending on your taste. (Mmm, sequinned eagles … or maybe not).
You can copy page layouts that you’ve built (this page is adapted from the stock photos page). And I can share a page layout with a friend. It also has advanced things included like split testing and its own sign-up/pop-up boxes. Melissa offers beautiful child themes, especially lush if you’re showing off visuals such as photography.
I used to hate Facebook for business. Great for friends and special interest groups (no, not THAT kind, mostly website or SEO groups actually) but not for getting new clients in a way that felt authentic. And the algorithm keeps changing. Like I need something else to track.
My secret weapon for the Facebook algorithm is Rachel Miller and her Moolah course. The former economics teacher is a whirlwind alchemist of people and numbers, showing how to build audiences of raving fans on Facebook. She’s truly one of life’s original thinkers.
The course shows you how to set up your page to attract your ideal audience and which content to add and how, to build your audience. There are updates for up to a year, covering Facebook’s changes.
Even if you just use Rachel’s free information for avoiding some of the big Facebook pitfalls like the words that will hurt your content being seen, it’s worth a look. Well, I think so. Rachel has my Facebook back. Whew!
I use Adobe Creative Cloud’s photography plan for editing my photos. Most photos are taken with a Fuji X-T2 and the equivalent of a 35mm lens as raw or native files and processed in Lightroom. If they need additional editing, that’s done in Photoshop.