MJ's Must-Have Tools
*Each of these resources is something that I regularly use and rely on myself! Note that some of the links are affiliate or referral links, which means if you make a purchase I may receive a small commission or “store credit,” at no additional cost or effort to you.
Namecheap is the only place I’ll buy web domain names now (I’m kind of a domain hoarder…), because they’re affordable (as the name would suggest), and I like the usability of the platform. But perhaps MOST importantly, I love that I can add FREE domain privacy to all of my domains for life! Godaddy and most other domain hosts charge for this yearly!
Siteground is where I host my WordPress sites (yeah I hoard those too), including this one! I don’t plan to leave any time soon, because I’ve used their chat support many times and it is top notch! Often rather than just telling you how to do something they will do it for you. Also, the free SG Optimizer plugin is kind bomb and eliminates my need for several other plugins like caching, image optimization and otherwise tedious maintenance tasks. For instance, here’s how you can easily change your WordPress PHP version inside the plugin.
I custom designed this site myself using Astra Pro as my “base” WordPress theme, and Elementor Pro to customize the theme structure and design. Astra is a fast, lightweight theme that’s made to work well with page + theme builder plugins like Elementor, and Elementor Pro allows me to make all kinds of customizations, and then change them whenever I like! It’s like the never-ending theme of creativity!
SEOPress – My SEO plugin of choice! The free version is great, the paid version is even better, and very affordable compared to competitors like Yoast! It can also be used on multiple sites for 1 low price.
LuckyWP Table of Contents – My favorite table of contents plugin, and it’s free!
Tasty Pins – Totally essential for serious Pinterest marketers, $29/year makes tons of WordPress Pinterest optimization tasks easier, and does a couple things that I haven’t been able to do otherwise.
UpdraftPlus – Awesome, easy to use free backup plugin. I can set up scheduled backups to go to my Google Drive, or manually send backups with the click of a button whenever I like.
WebARX – My security plugin of choice. It’s powerful, doesn’t slow down my site and is easy to use, unlike free plugins I’ve tried.
Revision Control – A simple free plugin that makes it easy to keep my number of post and page revisions in check so they don’t clog up my site indefinitely. I can also delete revisions on individual posts manually with the click of a button.
Tailwind really is the best way I’ve found to schedule pins to Pinterest, and Tailwind TRIBES are an amazing way to get more Pinterest shares and traffic, even for a new or smaller blogger! You can try Tailwind + tribes FREE for a month here when you sign up for a new Tailwind account.
While not actually my first choice for creating and selling online courses (my first choice would be to use something on my own WordPress site that I could customize to my heart’s delight! However…), Teachable is currently the only choice I’ve come across that will handle EU VAT taxes for me – and that’s something I just don’t need to worry about right now!
Plus, I’m kinda digging it now that I’ve gotten the hang of some customization hacks… I’m learning to love it more and more!
If you’re feeling a little boxed in with Teachable’s default design options, check out my FREE mini course on styling your Teachable school with custom CSS! It’s full of copy + paste code snippets you can use on any Teachable plan, even the FREE plan!