WP Tools

The tools you need to succeed

Welcome to The Blog Mechanic resources section. Over the years I have tested and used every recommendation on this page for building and growing my own WordPress website and websites belonging to clients that I work with.

Before you dive into the resources that I know and trust, I like to be open and honest with you at all times, so, you should know that:

Some of the links below are affiliate links. That means if you choose to make a purchase I will make a small commission. The commission comes at no extra cost to you. Please understand that I recommend all these tools to you because they are helpful and useful, not because I get a small commission.

Most Recommended

#1 for hosting WordPress websites

My website is hosted on a2 Hosting. Why? Because their shared servers are upto 20X faster than competing hosts and that is important for SEO and user experience.

When I first started my online business I hosted with D9 Hosting, then Bluehost, then SiteGround, and now a2 Hosting. On a2 Hosting my site is the fastest it has ever been.

a2 Hosting is a great option for startups and already established websites that need more server resources. Shared hosting plans start at $2.99 to $14.99 upwards per month, and you can choose monthly billing, so you don't have to pay hundreds upfront to start your website.

They provide 24/7/365 customer support via email, live chat, and phone. And, if you already have a WordPress site, they will migrate unlimited websites for you, for free.

I highly recommend a2Hosting whether you're a beginner on a budget or a seasoned blogger looking for premium hosting at affordable prices.

#1 for building email lists

ActiveCampaign is my number one recommendation for email management.

ActiveCampaign make it easy to manage your email list and organize subscribers into groups based on their individual interests, so you can send the right emails to the right people at the right time.

What I like most about ActiveCampaign is the visual email automation workflow. It's so much more advanced than the workflows found in other email management providers, but just as easy to use. Email segmentation and other improtant features are more advanced too.

I highly recommend ActiveCampaigns Lite Plan. They offer a 14 day free trial so you can try it out before you buy.

#1 for WordPress themes

Built by experts in SEO, design, performance, and security, Genesis themes are my number one recommendation.

I use Genesis themes on all of my own websites including this one. With its lightweight framework it won't slow down your website, and the customer support team are really helpful. If needed, help is just an email away.

All the themes come with step by step setup instructions and a one-click demo import, so making your chosen theme look like the theme demo at StudioPress is easy.

Out of the box, Genesis themes are not drag and drop but there's a simple solution to that. You can use a page builder. The themes are compatible with all popular page builders including Beaver Builder, Thrive Architect, Elementor, and more.

I highly recommend choosing a Genesis theme for your WordPress website. It will load fast and look professional on desktop and mobile.

#1 for a fast WordPress site

WP Rocket is the fastest and easiest way to make a slow WordPress website load fast. Even if you're not techie, you can have the plugin installed and working for you in 15 minutes or less. And, it won't break your website like most other site speed plugins can.

I have used WP Rocket on my own WordPress website to achieve load times of under 2 seconds on both desktop and mobile devices.

If you want more traffic from Google, more subscribers, and sales, your WordPress website needs to be blazing fast and WP Rocket is the easiest way to make that happen, quickly.

I highly recommend using WP Rocket to speed up WordPress. Watch my video demonstration to see this powerful plugin in action.

Build Your Blog + Essential Plugins

#1 for domain names

You can buy your domain name from your web host, but I don't recommend it. If your website is hacked, hackers can change the registration details of your domain name.

But if you keep your domain and hosting accounts separate, and your website is hacked, they won't have access to your domain name unless you use the same login details for both accounts.

I purchase all my domain names from NameCheap. They are amoungst the cheapest online.

#1 for web hosting

It's worth mentioning again: since I switched to a2 hosting my website is the fastest it has ever been.

If you want traffic from Google and happy website visitors who potentially convert into subscribers and sales, your site needs to be blazing fast and a2 hosting optimize all of their servers for speed.

a2 Hosting offer a free migration service and they provide 24/7/365 support via emal, live chat, and phone.

With shared hosting plans starting at just $2.99 per month and the option to pay monthly, a2 Hosting is not only fast and reliable, it's affordable too.

#1 for WordPress themes.

Also worth mentioning again: I use Genesis themes on all of my own websites and on sites that I build for clients.

Genesis themes are cleanly coded for speed, SEO, and security. They look professional, and they are mobile responsive.

Also, they are compatible with all popular drag and drop page builders, and their team provides excellent support.

#1 drag and drop page builder

Beaver Builder is the drag and drop page builder that I use with Genesis themes to create custom homepages, content pages, sales pages, landing pages, and more, without writing code.

Beaver Builder won't slow down your website, and it comes with over 30 stunning landing page templates that are easy to customize.

I use Beaver Builder on all my websites including this one. I even built this page with Beaver Builder.

A WordPress plugin to filter out spam comments so you don't have to. It will save you hours upon hours of time.

A drag and drop form builder to add a professional looking contact form with spam protection to your site.

Install the free Wordfence security plugin to protect your site from hacks and attacks.

The most powerful plugin to make WordPress load fast in just a few clicks, without breaking your website.

A WordPress plugin to automatically optimize images when you upload them to help keep your site loading fast.

A WordPress plugin to add professional email optin forms to your site. It's drag and drop and won't slow down your site.

The Best SEO plugin for WordPress. It's easy to use and completely free. Comes with features other plugins charge for.

Used by over 2 million websites, MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. There a free and a paid version.

Build Your Email List

#1 for email management

I've tried and tested lots of different autoresponder tools over the years and I'm yet to find one that beats ActiveCampaigns visual email automation workflow. ActiveCampaign is my top recommendation.

ActiveCampaign make it easy to manage your email list and organize subscribers into groups based on their individual interests, so you can send the right emails to the right people at the right time.

I highly recommend ActiveCampaigns Lite Plan. They offer a 14 day free trial so you can try it out before you buy.

#1 for professional email optin forms

For many years I used Thrive Leads to create and add professional email optin forms to WordPress websites.

Thive Leads is a good plugin but I noticed that it was slowing down my site, and sites belonging to clients, so I changed to Convert Pro.

Convert Pro is really easy to use and better for website performance - it won't slow down your site. It is highly optimized for speed.

To keep your site loading fast, I recommend using Convert Pro to easily create and add professional looking optin forms to WordPress.