If you need to record audio or tutorial videos for your site or for clients then I highly recommend the Blue Snowball USB Microphone! It has great sound isolation and is plug and play. I use to to record tutorial walkthroughs for clients on how to use the custom features of their websites.
If you do any graphics editing then the Wacom Intuos Art Pen & Touch Tablet is a great addition to your hardware collection. I’m a big fan of Wacom products and this one is a great deal for detailed graphic design work.
All of these are in the same general price range. Don’t forget that you may need an SSL certificate if you are collecting personal information from your customers (especially credit card info). Choose the introductory plan for when your traffic is low, but if you anticipate a spike in traffic due to media coverage or a viral blog post, you will want to upgrade your account beforehand to prevent your site from crashing.
- WP Engine – Premium shared hosting for accounts with high traffic (>10k)
You can purchase a domain through your host (or they may throw one in for free with certain packages) but you can also purchase one separate from domain registrars. The benefit of having your domain registrar separate from hosting is that if your site goes down because of your hosting server, your email is still accessible, so you never miss a customer email.
- Namecheap – also offers hosting and SSL certificates
- Hover – free Whois privacy, email forwarding or webmail options
I personally use and love the Genesis framework – it’s SEO optimized, super fast loading, and extremely easy to customize. I’ve included links to developers who specifically create child themes for the Genesis framework, and there are also themes available by StudioPress.
- Genesis Framework by StudioPress (lots of child themes available)
- Restored316 Designs – built on the Genesis Framework
- Genesis Designr – a gallery of all Genesis child themes (at least that’s their claim 😉 )
Other popular (non-genesis) options for WordPress themes are available at the following locations, though I cannot personally vouch for them as I do not use them and won’t be able to help you troubleshoot any issues related to the theme.
- Genesis Connect for WooCommerce
- WooCommerce Product Archive Customiser
- Theme Customization
- Genesis Super Customizer – does not work with premium themes
- Genesis Responsive Slider
- Email Optin
- Genesis eNews Extended – creates a simple sidebar optin box
- Hello Bar
- SEO and Optimization
- SEO by Yoast
- EWWW – reduces your image file sizes, helps speed up your website
- Lazy Load – only loads images that are “above the fold”
While I would love to say that I know everything, it’s not (oh, so not) true! Check out these awesome resources to keep expanding your skill set!
- Lynda – there are literally thousands of video tutorials on web development, design, photography, and lots more. It’s a paid service but if you click through this link you’ll get a 10 day free trial!
- Code Academy – Totally free and a great place to start, learn your basic HTML and CSS, as well as JQuery, PHP or even Ruby. The interface is super easy to follow and really cute too.
- Treehouse – expand your knowledge of coding and design skills with this every expanding library of tutorials. They even have a wordpress development track, and specific courses just for the genesis theme! If you are a student and have a student ID they even have discounted student pricing (email them a copy of your student ID and a screenshot of your registration or other document proving your a student)
- Code School – want to expand your coding skills? Check out code school’s paid offerings. They do have a free demo account that lets you access the first few lessons in each skill tree to see if you’re interested. Sign up using my link and you’ll get your first month for only $9 (normally $29)!
Know of an excellent resource that I’ve missed? Shoot me an email and I’ll check it out!
|Disclosure: Some of the links in this resource guide are affiliate links, which means that I will earn a small commission if you choose to purchase from this link. These services are offered at no additional cost to you (and often at a discount!), and I am more than happy to answer any questions about them that you may have.|