The following is a list of useful resources for bloggers and WordPress users of all levels. I’m often asked for directions on themes, plugins, hosting etc. so here’s some useful resources that should come in handy if making the move to WordPress or advancing your existing blog setup.
Domains & Hosting
Long my go-to in the Irish sector for domains, hosting and other hosting-related services. Great support, good pricing, self-hosted plans starting from around €50 per year.
I’ve been using Dreamhost for some heavy-lifting of popular WordPress installs. Pricier at around $20 monthly for their Dreampress service but you won’t hear any complaints here.
Statistics & Analytics
- Google Analytics
It’s a no-brainer really, but if you’re in any way keen about monitoring your own web traffic, setting traffic goals and really drilling into the stats behind your visitors, then you’ll need to get Google Anlaytics up and running fairly quick.
- If you’re a WordPress user, you might find the Jetpack plugin useful. It’s packed with loads of quirky addons for your WordPress blog, but it also draws from the WordPress.com stats for your blog which can be digested a little easier than Google Analytics.
Where to get WordPress Plugins
One of the best things about WordPress is its unending expansion through plugins and addons. Here’s some places that are useful for exploring large plugin resources.
There’s loads of well-maintained commercial plugins at Codecanyon if you’re a WordPress blogger, from full-scale galleries to shop plugins, download managers, membership plugins and plenty more.
- WordPress Plugin Repository
The first stop for free WordPress plugins. This is the same repository you access from the self-hosted versions of WordPress, only on a grander scale.
One of my go-to resources for off the shelf theming. If you’re starting out blogging and looking for a theme to set you apart from the rest, you’ll find plenty of samples here. The prices vary, but expect to pay anywhere up to $60 a design. If you’re completely stuck, they offer installation assistance as well for an additional $50.
Food Blogging Plugins & Addons
- WP Ultimate Recipe
A fairly heavyweight plugin that’s optimised for Google Recipe Search, is easy to manager, looks great on mobileand packs a heap of features.
- WP Recipe Maker
From the makers of WP Ultimate Recipe, this one is a lightweight option, allowing the recipes to be written as part of your overall post as opposed to having the recipes as separate post types. Less fuss, quicker setup too.
Podcasting Plugins & Addons
That’s “blueberry, with no e’s” or so they say. A pretty comprehensive plugin for self-hosting of podcasts. Comes with facility for media redirects or tracking downloads, opens possibilities on advertising revenue and more. If you’re planning on hosting podcast audio yourself, this is my go-to.
- Amazon S3 Cloud Storage
Also, if you’re planning on hosting podcasts yourself and your podcast starts to become popular and really hit the download mark, I recommend Amazon S3 for external hosting. There are plugins you can get to link your blog to an S3 bucket, you can host your podcasts off a subdomain and plenty more besides. It gets technical, but it’s a very low cost solution for high-traffic downloads and streams.
Disclaimer: Some of these links include affiliate links. I’m not recommended services or listing resources that I have not used in the past or use at present.