Resources and Tools

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Tools and resources
Here are the tools that are used for this website.

Disclosure: please be aware that some of the links are affiliate which means that I may get a compensation (at no additional cost to you) if you buy some products that I recommend and use myself.

 

Web hosting

Before launching my blog I did a thorough research on the best web hosting that would suit my needs (shared hosting, highly reliable, great support, great speed, great reputation, really not expensive).

For this blog I’ve been using EuvoVPS since the 5th of July 2013.

Also I’ve been using more than 100 hosts for my projects.
And the following hosting I like very much and recommend: StableHost (super affordable) – I’ve been usingit since August 2013, HawkHost – I used it in 2013-2014 and since January 2016, VeeroTech – using it since February 2016, SiteGround – since February 2016.

You are welcome to read my reviews (and see hosting real-time performance as well as history performance) on these and some other hosts I closely monitor and recommend here.

Also, here’s a list of hosting to avoid (hint: as full as possible list of EIG companies gathered in one post)

 

Hosting performance monitoring

For my numerous monitoring tasks I use monitis.com.

By the way, here are my non-stop performance tests that I run on some hosts to find the most reliable and the fastest hosting. I call it Hosting Performance Contest:
hosting performance contest

Also, on this page I’ve been putting together the results of all hosting monitoring tests. You can find there current performance monitoring charts for the monitored hosts as well.

 

Making my website faster

Apart from using a fast hosting, I use a combination of caching options that make my website even faster: W3 Total Cache (a free plugin) + Sucuri Firewall (it’s a security product with an additional caching layer). Here’s my research on how it can make a website 2.3 times faster.

 

Domain registrars

There are some domain registrars that I go with for all my different projects.

This website (ResearchAsaHobby.com) uses domain registered at Namecheap.
It is the best reliable provider of domains in my opinion. If you don’t need to deal with domain auctions I’d definitely recommend it (and only it). And yes, it has attractive prices.

Another registrar that I recommend is GoDaddy (but I do NOT recommend their hosting services though!). They are great by providing domain auction services. It will be a great choice if you buy and sell domains. But compared to NameCheap, it is a bit expensive (especially their Private Domain Registration service). I use GoDaddy for domains that I buy on its auction for my other web projects.

I don’t recommend using free domain name when it is offered by a hosting company, because the good advice is to keep domain and hosting separately. It is like to keep your credit card and its PIN in different places.

Here are more very affordable, convenient and transparent domain registrars (no hidden fees and other upcharges). I’ve been using them since 2013 for 100+ websites I’ve been managing for my SEO clients and I’m very satisfied with them:
Internetbs.net (free WhoIs, wide range of domain extensions, no hidden fees)
NameSilo.com (also free WhoIs, no hidden fees, very attractive prices – see here, and even better – use coupon RAAHDOLLAR when checking out – it will give you $1 discount)

 

Blog platform (CMS)

I use WordPress (just in case – it is free if you didn’t know). WordPress CMS is believed to be a great choice for beginners or/and for building not very complicated wesites.
Also, (and maybe even the most important factor) there are a lot of useful plugins (both free and paid), nice themes for different purposes and a lot of other information for this CMS freely available in the Internet.

I’d say, that WordPress is the best choice for a blogging website, because it allows to make what you want with the least efforts.

The last but not least, WordPress is believed to be a good choice because of SEO (cleaner code, great SEO plugins available for free such as Yoast SEO plugin).

 

WordPress framework and themes

I use Genesis Framework which is considered to be one of the best for building high-quality WordPress themes. Genesis is the choice of many top bloggers and WordPress users who appreciates effectiveness of the code.

In order to get a professionally looking website built on a very solid foundation with great functional possibilities and options all you need is just to install two themes – Genesis (the foundation of your website) and any child theme developed for Genesis (the feel-and-look of your website). It is as simple as that. Installation of Genesis itself and a child theme is the same as installation of any other WordPress theme.

Once purchased Genesis, you will get new updates of this framework for life.

You can use it on any number of your websites.

StudioPress LLC – the company that developed Genesis – also offers premium themes (you can get Genesis + a premium child theme there.)

As regards this website (researchasahobby.com), I use one of the free responsive themes for Genesis Framework that I tweak myself.

 

WordPress security

My selected WordPress security products are Sucuri Antivirus and BulletProofSecurity Pro plugin.

Read my detailed comparison of the WordPress security options in this article.

WordPress Backups

I’m using CodeGuard, an incremental backup service which is very efficient, reliable and affordable.

Read my in-depth research on backup services for your WordPress site here.

Opt-in plugin

I’m using ThriveLeads plugin which is very comprehensive, powerful, very fast and the most complete opt-in solution I know (replaces many other optin plugins). A sweet thing is that it is one-time paid plugin (no need in subscription to get the plugin updates in the future forever). Here’s my in-depth review with lots of examples.

 

Multimedia tools

For screen recording when making video tutorials and for other kinds of video editing I use Tech Smith Camtasia Studio.

For making screenshots with beautiful arrows, numbers, notes etc and doing it very fast I use Screenpresso

 

My detailed step-by-step tutorials

Free and easy (although very effective) way to protect your WordPress site against hackers – useful step-by-step tutorial. A comparison of one of the best security plugins is in this research.

How to backup your WordPress website effectively and for free – includes step-by-step tutorials for standard cPanel Backup Wizard tool and the tutorial on how to automatically backup your website to Google Drive on schedule and for free using UpdraftPlus plugin.

 

Mind mapping tools

Start your own research on what suits you better. I recommend to start your journey from these pages:
mind-mapping.org/… – the resource about mind mapping tools and techniques.
informationtamers.com/… – a good starting page to begin choosing a mind mapping tool.
wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_concept-_and_mind-mapping_software and mind-mapping.org/full-list… – the full lists of mind mapping tools.

 

My best and the most useful articles

I put all my best articles on this page. There are the most useful stuff I’ve written. It’s a great point to start your journey on my website.

 

Additional resources

How to know what web hosting is used for a website

http://www.webpagetest.org – test your website speed with detailed statistics from different corners of the world (free).

http://butleranalytics.com – a good starting point to choose a Business Intelligence tool for small business and blogging.

Free images (not just royalty-free, but absolutely free!):
pixabay.com, morguefile.com, freeimages.com
And here are more sources of free images.
Free icon finder

Free music (absolutely free if you credit the artist with a link). Here is an example of Youtube video with one of those free tracks.

Read here how to buy online products with limited-time-offer discounts even if time is over.

16personalities.com – a free personality test with a detailed explanation (get to know your weaknesses and strengths!).

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